The threat of diabetes and it’s associated conditions
More than 3 million people in the UK are diagnosed with diabetes, the number rising to 370 million adults worldwide. Diabetes prevalence in the UK is estimated to rise to 5 million by 2025. The cost to the NHS equates to over £25,000 every minute. An estimated £14 billion pounds is spent annually on treating diabetes and its complications, with the cost of treating complications representing the much higher cost. A recent report from the London School of Economics, estimates that the cost of prescribing medication for complications of diabetes is around 3 to 4 times the cost of prescribing diabetes medication.
The risk of developing further health complications as a result of diabetes are high, the longer you have diabetes — and the less controlled your blood sugar — the higher the risk of complications. For example 8 in 10 people with type 2 diabetes develop high blood pressure at some stage of their life.
Preventing the increase of type 2 diabetes in particular, can be achieved by combining a healthy diet with regular exercise, as well as visiting a doctor/checking your weight, blood pressure etc. at home.
However, a survey commissioned by Kinetik Wellbeing, the healthcare experts, revealed Brits are largely apathetic about visiting their GP with regards to their general health. Findings revealed:
- Almost half (49%) of Brits failed to visit the doctors for a check up in 2015
- People are more likely to get their haircut (on average 8 times a year) or take their car to the garage (68%)
- Young people (25 – 34) are least likely to visit their GP and will wait 15 days or more to book an appointment
When it comes to blood pressure related diseases, which are currently costing the NHS over £2billion annually and are one the biggest risk factors for premature death, the research shows Brits are ignoring this silent killer:
- Over 9 million (14.10%) Brits don’t know whether they have normal, high or low blood pressure
- 1 in 5 with high pressure take at least three weeks to visit their GP following symptoms
- More than 8 million (12.50%) 25-34 year olds have never had their blood pressure checked
In light of November being Diabetes awareness month, this is the opportunity to raise the profile of diabetes and importantly, the associated diseases and conditions. Encouraging people to become more interested and invested in their own health, whether it’s visiting the doctor more regularly, monitoring their weight and blood pressure at home, or simply adopting a healthier lifestyle, it’s crucial to improving the health of the nation and saving the NHS money.
By Ian Baker, Director, Kinetik Wellbeing