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Diabetes is a public health disaster that could bankrupt the NHS

Published on 25/04/2012

Diabetes is “an unfolding public health disaster” that could bankrupt the NHS within a generation, according to a shocking new report.

Diabetes is an unfolding public health disaster

Research conducted by five health economists from the York Health Economics Consortium shows that the cost of treating diabetes will soar from £9.8bn to £16.9bn by 2035, as the number of diabetics rises from 3.8 million to 6.25 million.

The Impact Diabetes report, published in the journal Diabetic Medicine, also argues that the majority of NHS spending on diabetes is avoidable. It calculates that 79 per cent of the money the NHS spends on diabetes goes on treating complications.

Complications occur when people with diabetes sustain high levels of glucose over a long period. This can lead to increased chances of developing kidney failure, nerve damage and damage to the retina, stroke and cardiovascular disease.

But experts say that much of this is preventable with health checks and better education, something the Department of Health says it is tackling.

Baroness Barbara Young, from Diabetes UK - one of the charities involved in the Impact Diabetes report - said: "The report shows that without urgent action, the already huge sums of money spent on treating diabetes will rise to unsustainable levels that threaten to bankrupt the NHS."

"If this rise in diabetes is allowed to continue, as is happening at the moment, it will simply be disastrous for the NHS and wreck NHS budgets."

Private medical insurance will often not cover diabetes because it is a chronic condition. For more information, compare health insurance policies online now.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012

Categories:  Health
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