The disease needs to be better managed according to the report

The disease needs to be better managed according to the report

Up to 24,000 diabetes-related deaths could be prevented if patients and docotrs better managed the condition, according to a new report.

The alarming figures showed diabetic women aged 15 to 34 are nine times more likely to die than those without the disease.

Male sufferers in the same age group are four times more likely to suffer early deaths.

The danger of suffering a heart attack, kidney problems or having a limb amputated are higher for someone with diabetes.

Alison Freemantle, Lloydspharmacy pharmacist and diabetes expert, comments: "The alarming news that every year thousand of people with diabetes are dying unnecessarily tells a worrying story of a nation not managin the condition effectively.

"Our pharmacists on the front line see not only people who find it difficult to come to terms with their diagnosis but those who simple don't understand how to manage their diabetes. Patients often only see their GP once or twice a year - this just isn't enough for a condition that can have so many complications.

"Pharmacies can play an important role - we see patients wach month when they pick up their repeat prescription. Our pharmacists are fully trained to educate patients about their condition, to help them understand their blood glucose readings and to offer advice on how to stay in control."

Audit lead clinician Dr Bob Young, consultant diabetologist and clinical lead for the National Diabetes Information Service, said: "For the first time we have a reliable measure of the huge impact of diabetes on early death.

"Many of these early deaths could be prevented. The rate of new diabetes is increasing every year. So, if there are no changes, the impact of diabetes on national mortality will increase.

"Doctors, nurses and the NHS working in partnership with people who have diabetes should be able to improve these grim statistics."

Some of the most common problems Lloydspharmacy sees with diabetes patients:

· People not understanding what their meter readings mean. In many cases we see worrying fluctuations in glucose levels – this is what can lead to complications
· Patients who are either in denial about having diabetes or continue to make unhealthy lifestyle choices - by not making lifestyle changes they are storing up future problems
· Patients whose prescribed medication is no longer working effectively – it’s important that a pharmacist reviews their prescription as they can quickly refer the patient back to their GP

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