Local MP expresses concern that poor suffer most in diabetes lottery

November 14, 2006 12:00 AM
Tom Brake With Measuring Tape

Tom Brake checks up on his own likelihood fior diabetes earlier this fall

Tom Brake today welcomes a new report highlighting shocking statistics that reveal a link between diabetes and poverty. Britain's poorest communities are 2.5 times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes. They are also 3.5 times more likely to develop serious complications of diabetes including heart disease, stroke and kidney damage, than people from higher socio-economic groups.

The report Diabetes and the Disadvantaged, is published by Diabetes UK and the All Party Parliamentary Group for Diabetes, to mark the theme of this year's World Diabetes Day. Diabetes and the Disadvantaged - reducing health inequalities in the UK, reveals the shocking reality for people living in deprived areas.

The report, published today, also shows that following diagnosis, people in deprived communities are not getting the vital health checks they need to prevent complications developing. For example, they are less likely to have their blood glucose levels or blood pressure monitored or checks for retinopathy which can cause blindness and neuropathy and can lead to amputation.

Tom Brake MP commented, 'Deprived areas around the country are host to many whose poor care and unhealthy lifestyles mean they are likely to be a forgotten generation who could be condemned to a future of poor health. Obesity is nearly 50 per cent higher in women from poorer areas and people from these areas are also 50 per cent more likely to smoke. Although Carshalton and Wallington is a relatively well-off area, we should still be aware of this, and make sure that the NHS lives up to its premise of free, high-quality health care for all.'

Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, Douglas Smallwood, said, "With late diagnosis, poor care and poor lifestyles compounding the difficult task of managing diabetes, people in deprived communities have a bleak future. The diagnosis of diabetes exacerbates existing problems for people in diverse groups, who may already be struggling to cope. It will take a huge shift in both attitudes and services to reverse this pattern for future generations."

The report also addresses the range of problems for a variety of other groups with diabetes including: the elderly, people with mental health problems, ethnic minorities, prisoners and those who are homeless.

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