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UK rates fifth highest for child diabetes

2nd January 2013

New figures have shown that the UK comes fifth in a global league table of children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

diabetes1

The table was compiled using estimates from most of the countries in the world, with the exception of some African countries which do not record diabetes information.

Over 24 in every 100,000 children in the UK aged 14 or less are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes every year.

Around 25% of the children are only given the diagnosis after they have become very ill. There are 400,000 people with type 1 diabetes in the UK and 29,000 of these are children.

The chief executive of Diabetes UK, Barbara Young, said: "We do not fully understand why more children in the UK are developing type 1 diabetes than almost anywhere else in the world. But the fact that the rate is so high here in the UK means it is especially important that parents know the symptoms."

"At the moment, poor understanding of type 1 diabetes symptoms is one of the main reasons that far too many children are already seriously ill by the time they are diagnosed." 

Public health minister Anna Soubry said type 1 diabetes can be "serious and sometimes life threatening if not diagnosed early and treated properly" and added that it was important to recognise the symptoms of the condition.

She added: "Everyone with diabetes should expect excellent care from the NHS. That is why we have introduced an incentive scheme to ensure that every child has the best care possible. We have also established regional networks to share expertise in children's diabetes care across the NHS."  

 

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