September 8, 2008

Postcode Lottery Hits Diabetes Sufferers, Say Campaigners

By Tom Smithard

The charity Diabetes UK says that NHS services in the region are failing to diagnose people with Type 2 diabetes, leaving thousands at risk of heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and amputation.Figures show a huge disparity between different Primary Care Trusts in Yorkshire on how many people are diagnosed with the disease.While 93 per cent of people are diagnosed in Doncaster, just 72 per cent are in North Yorkshire and York. The average for the region stands at 82.75 percent slightly down from the national average of 84 percent.Diabetes UK chief executive Douglas Smallwood said: "It is extremely worrying that thousands of people in Yorkshire and the Humber are going about their daily lives unaware they have a condition that puts them at risk of devastating complications."Type 2 diabetes can go undetected for up to 12 years. By the time they are diagnosed, around half of people with Type 2 diabetes already have evidence of complications." Early diagnosis is essential so people can start managing their condition and help reduce their risk of developing these complications."The charity is pressuring the NHS to do more to target people living in deprived communities, who are two-and-a-half times more likely to have diabetes.Risk factors of Type 2 diabetes include having a large waist or being overweight, being aged over 40 or over 25 for those in black and South Asian communities, and having a family history of the condition.

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