Unmanaged Diabetes in Numbers: The Physical Toll

Unmanaged Diabetes in Numbers: The Physical Toll

Approximately 30% of the adult population of the UK have Diabetes, with a further 10% being pre-diabetic. Management of this condition is vital. Left unmanaged, diabetes is expensive both financially for the NHS and in quality of life for the person.

Uncontrolled diabetes each year results in some truly shocking statistics: 

220,000 Years on Earth Lost

According to the NHS England, it is estimated that poorly controlled diabetes shortens life expectancy by 10 years, leading to 22,000 premature deaths every year, that’s 220,000 life years missed.

194,000 Eyes damaged

Poorly controlled diabetes can lead to multiple issues of the eye structure, damaging 194,000 eyes a year, according to RNIB data. Variations in blood glucose can affect the lens shape altering vision as glucose increases and decreases. Over time, high glucose concentrations can damage the lens leading to cataracts, double the chance of optic nerve damage leading to glaucoma and affect the blood vessels at the back of the eye damaging the retina’s ability to send signals to the brain leading to blindness.

8,760 Toes, Feet and Legs Removed

Sustained high glucose levels can damage the small blood vessels in the body, stopping essential nutrients reaching the peripheral nerves and tissues, resulting in the reduction of nerve sensation in these areas. Lack of sensation can lead to unnoticed injury of tissue, which may become infected or develop gangrene, resulting in the amputation of nearly 9000 toes, feet and legs every year, according to Diabetes UK. Once the nerves have been damaged, they cannot repair themselves, so careful management of blood glucose is necessary to prevent and limit the damage from happening.

1,500 Failed Kidneys

High blood glucose levels increase the pressure inside the delicate filtering system in the kidney, leading to damage of the tiny filters, causing high blood pressure, leakage of protein into the urine. If left unmanaged, it can lead to kidney failure, as happens to 1500 kidneys a year, according to Kidney Research UK. If damage is severe, the kidneys can eventually lose the ability to filter out waste products from the bloodstream, resulting in a person needing dialysis or a kidney transplant in order to stay alive.

9,000,000 HbA1c Tests

The key to managing diabetes is by stabilising blood glucose through diet, exercise and medication.

HbA1c testing is a vital tool for both patients and healthcare professionals, to monitor average glucose levels throughout life. An estimated 9,000,000 HbA1c measurements are analysed each year by healthcare professionals to support people to hold onto precious life years, eyes, toes, feet, legs and kidneys through good control, enabling people to continue to live happy healthy lives.

QuikRead and HbA1c Test Image

HbA1c where and when the patient needs it

Portability, efficiency and simplicity in HbA1c testing at the point of care