Diabetes UK has warned the Government to provide better care for diabetes sufferers as figures show the condition causes more than 135 amputations a week in the UK. Diabetes UK said the rate is increasing due to a huge increase in the number of people developing the condition, which is often linked to being overweight.
The charity wants people to tweet Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt about the issue, using the hashtag #135shoes to highlight the fact that the feet are particularly at risk. It has calculated the figure using new Public Health England data, which show the annual number of diabetes-related amputations in England is now more than 7,000 compared to the previous 6,677, equating to seven more amputations each week.
The charity added that up to 80 per cent of these amputations can be avoided if people with diabetes were given the necessary care. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes cause neuropathy and poor circulation, meaning that sufferers are 15 times more likely to have a limb amputated than those without the condition.
There is no way of preventing type 1 diabetes, which occurs as a result of the body being unable to produce insulin and usually develops in childhood, affecting 10 per cent of sufferers overall.
There are 3.9 million people in the UK with type 2 diabetes – the most common kind – which is linked to increasing levels of obesity, unhealthy diets and a lack of exercise, with a further 590,000 people estimated to have not yet been diagnosed.
A Healthy Performance onsite health check provides all employees with a diabetes score as standard. To discuss how to set-up a Diabetes Awareness day then please call the Healthy Performance team on 01295 230120.