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Fewer people dying from diabetes in Wales – new report

The number of people dying from diabetes-related conditions in Wales continues to fall, while the total cost to the Welsh NHS of providing care for the disease is more than half a billions pounds a year, a new report published by the Welsh Government reveals.

The first all-Wales annual report about NHS diabetes care sets out the progress made against the Welsh Government’s Together for Health – a Diabetes Delivery Plan over the last 12 months.

Key findings include:

  • Spending in Welsh hospitals in 2012-13 on diabetes was almost £90m, an increase of 4% compared to 2011-12; 
  • Total Welsh NHS expenditure on diabetes-related care is almost £500m a year;
  • In 2013, 300 people died from diabetes-related conditions. This has fallen from 420 deaths in 2009;
  • Half of all deaths from diabetes are the result of cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks and strokes. In 2001, in Wales, almost 14,000 people died from cardiovascular disease, by 2011 this had fallen to just over 9,000 deaths;
  • Emergency admissions for people with diabetes have fallen by more than 230 from 2,815 to 2,584 between 2010 and 2013;
  • There are an estimated 66,000 people with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes in Wales;
  • People living in more deprived parts of Wales are more likely to suffer from diabetes and its complications than those living in more prosperous areas;
  • Between 2% and 10% of expectant mothers develop gestational diabetes, making it one of the most common health problems of pregnancy;
  • 84% of inpatients said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the overall care of their diabetes while in hospital;
  • 60% of adults with type 1 diabetes and 33% of adults with type 2 diabetes are not having the annual tests and investigations associated with the national standards.

Deputy Minister for Health Vaughan Gething said:

As a country we are facing a huge increase in the number of people with diabetes. The reality is much of the increase is type 2 diabetes is due to the aging population and more of us becoming overweight. This has serious implications for people’s health and the places further pressure on our NHS.

To put this into perspective, we are now spending £500m a year on diabetes-related care out of a £6bn- a-year health budget.

We are taking action to diagnose people with diabetes as early as possible and reduce the number of deaths associated with the condition. While we are making good progress, all of us still have a personal responsibility to look after our own health and not put ourselves at risk of falling victim to diabetes.

Dr Andrew Goodall, chief executive of NHS Wales, said:

I am pleased we are making progress when it comes to diabetes, and much of this is thanks to the dedicated staff who work tirelessly to support patients and carers to manage their conditions. We need to build on this and look to make further improvements for the Welsh population.  

This will need to be a joint effort between the service in NHS Wales and the public. Obesity is the top risk factor for type 2 diabetes at all ages and 58% of all adults in Wales in 2013 are overweight or obese. This will need many of us to change our lifestyles if we are to tackle diabetes effectively in the future.

Related Links

Channel website: https://www.icaew.com

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