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Assembly Members to debate Wales' diabetes 'epidemic'

Assembly Members will debate later what is described as an 'epidemic' level of diabetes in Wales.

Diabetes costs the Welsh NHS £500m per year. Credit: Berliner Verlag/S.Steinach

A report from the Assembly's Health and Social Care Committee found around 160,000 people here have the condition with another 350,000 at risk.

The Welsh Government has accepted 11 of the report's recommendations in full and two in principle.

Fears of a diabetes 'epidemic' in Wales

There are concerns that people may be dying needlessly because the Government's own policy for tackling diabetes isn't working.

The disease can lead to heart disease and even strokes, and is now said to be reaching epidemic levels.

That's despite a ten year Government-led strategy designed to educate people about the complications it can cause.

Megan Boot reports on the failures to respond to a disease that ruins lives and is costing the NHS a half a billion pounds a year to treat.

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Diabetes 'epidemic' fears: Welsh Government responds

We welcome the Committee's report and will follow up on the commitment that the Health Minister, Mark Drakeford has made to use the report's recommendations to inform our forthcoming Diabetes Delivery Plan. Diabetes is estimated to effect 5% of the Welsh population. We are well aware of the close links between lifestyle, obesity and diabetes and we are committed to making real progress.

The Health Minister will now consider the reports recommendations in detail before responding formally to the Chair of the Committee.

– Welsh Government spokesperson

Diabetes 'costs NHS in Wales half a billion pounds'

Bowl of sugar
Diabetes is a condition where the amount of glucose in the blood is too high Credit: PA

The Health and Social Care Committee has warned that diabetes - and the additional health complications that often follow - is costing the NHS in Wales half a billion pounds per year.

"A failure to continue taking action will mean ever larger numbers of people with diabetes with ever larger numbers of complications," the Committee said.

"That would mean more people living with ill health. We should not simply accept that as inevitable.

"People with diabetes are more likely to develop heart disease, kidney disease, blindness or may require an amputation.

"All of this costs the NHS in Wales half a billion pounds every year and it's likely that this figure will increase as the number of people with the condition continues to grow."

Diabetes: 'More co-ordinated approach' needed

The Health and Social Care Committee has recommended that the Welsh Government take a 'firmer hand' in monitoring the provision of diabetes services among local health boards, in order to tackle rising levels of diabetes cases in Wales.

It has called for an emphasis on sharing best practice, when the Welsh Government announces its forthcoming Diabetes Delivery Plan.

The Committee has also recommended a 'more co-ordinated approach' across all healthcare providers, including GP and community pharmacies, to assist in monitoring each patient's condition and medication.

Calls for action over 'epidemic' in diabetes cases

A Committee at the National Assembly for Wales is calling for urgent action to address a diabetes 'epidemic' in Wales.

The Health and Social Care Committee has been told that five per cent of the Welsh population - that's more than 160,000 people - have now been diagnosed with diabetes.

An estimated 300,000 people have what is known as pre-diabetes, which means they have higher than normal blood glucose levels.

The Committee found that targets for tackling the problem set out 10 years ago in the Welsh Government's Diabetes National Service Framework are likely to be missed.

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Clinic will provide 'practical support' to diabetic Muslims

Diabetes is one of the biggest health challenges we face today in the UK - in Cardiff alone, it is estimated that 20,435 people have the condition; higher than the national average of 5.5%.1,3 People of South Asian descent are six times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes compared with the overall UK population and I am delighted to be working with Silver Star to provide practical support and information to those people with type 2 diabetes who may be planning to fast this summer

– Dr Naseem, Cardiff Bay Surgery

Diabetes charity launches Ramadan campaign

The campaign aims to raise awareness of the risks of fasting for diabetes sufferers Credit: Hugo Philpott/PA Wire

Silver Star Diabetes is taking its 'Stay Healthy During Ramadan' campaign to the South Wales Islamic Centre in Cardiff today.

The charity says diabetic Muslims who fast are at additional risk of hypoglycaemia due to low blood sugar during fasting periods and hyperglycaemia due to high blood sugar when breaking the fast.

Mobile clinics will be set up to offer testing and give advice outside the mosque.

Diabetes Awareness Week focusing on research

The theme of Diabetes Awareness Week 2013 is ‘Diabetes Research: Be part of the story’, celebrating the series of breakthroughs in diabetes research.

It’s fantastic that so many people are helping to raise money and awareness during Diabetes Week. But we are working to improve the lives of all people in Wales living with diabetes every single day. To help us to do this we want people in Wales who are affected by diabetes to tell us about the standards of care and treatment they or their loved ones receive.

– Dai Williams, Diabetes UK Cymru

'Diabetes vaccine' trialled in Cardiff offers hope

More than 160,000 people in Wales have been diagnosed with diabetes and it's believed there could be thousands more not yet diagnosed Credit: Hugo Philpott/PA Wire

As Diabetes Awareness Week begins today, a 'diabetes vaccine' is undergoing clinical trials at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, in the hope that it might eventually lead to a cure.

Scientists are working to develop a vaccine to slow or halt the autoimmune process that destroys the insulin-making cells in Type 1 diabetes.

More than 160,000 people in Wales have been diagnosed with diabetes - nearly five per cent of the population.

It is estimated that 66,000 more could have the condition but have not yet been diagnosed.

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