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Report: “more children dying from diabetes in UK than other EU countries”

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There are news reports out today about new research suggesting that more young people are dying from diabetes in the UK than in the rest of Europe. 

The research, which was carried out by researchers at University College London, found that the UK has a “high and rising” diabetes mortality rate compared with the EU among 15 to 24 year olds from 2000 onwards. 

Diabetes UK has not yet seen the figures from the study, but has responded to the study by reminding parents of children with Type 1 diabetes who might be concerned by the news that the number of diabetes-related deaths in those aged under 24 is very low. 

According to the charity, the new study also highlights the fact that healthcare for children with Type 1 diabetes is all too often not good enough

.Barbara Young, Diabetes UK Chief Executive, said: “It is worrying that poor diabetes control is leading to deaths in children, though we know that in reality it is only an incredibly small number of children and young people with diabetes, aged under 24, who die.

“However, what is of concern is that only 16 per cent of children and young people with diabetes in England and Wales achieve target in relation to controlling their condition, putting them at increased risk of developing diabetes-related complications later in life.  

“Specifically in relation to Type 1 diabetes, one in four children are diagnosed too late, at the stage where they collapse and need serious and urgent care in hospital. Raised awareness of the symptoms of undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes in children can dramatically reduce this number. 

“We welcome the fact that healthcare for children seems to be getting better and recognise that a lot of hard work has gone into making this happen. But more still needs to be done. For example improved education, greater access to technology, such as insulin pumps, and better support in schools, can all help to give children with diabetes the best possible chance of living a long and healthy life.”

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