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Rising numbers of young people with type 2 diabetes in England and Wales

Rising numbers of young people with type 2 diabetes in England and Wales

More than three quarters of young people obese according to NHS figures.

Published: Aug 23, 2018
Category: Research
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An “alarming” rise in new cases of young people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes has been reported over the last four years in a new report.

The recently published National Paediatric Diabetes Audit (NPDA) report by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health found that the number of children and young people being treated for type 2 diabetes in England and Wales has gone up from 507 to 715 in four years.

The report figures showed a rise in young people receiving care for type 2 diabetes between 2013-14 and 2016-17, however they do make up a tiny percentage of the total population of under-25s.

The report found that 715 children and young people under the age of 25 were currently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in England and Wales, of whom 172 were diagnosed in the audit year - an increase of 77 from 2015/16

The proportion of children and young people with type 2 diabetes receiving all seven key health checks was 21.3%.

Almost half of those treated for type 2 diabetes in 2016-17 were black or Asian, the figures show. They were also more likely to be female and living in a deprived area.

Professor Neena Modi, President, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said: “It is gratifying to see continuing national improvement in overall diabetes management, and details of new national initiatives which should catalyse further progress.

“However, the audit continues to show variation, with inequalities in treatment widening between children and young people at both ends of the deprivation scale, and poorer outcomes associated with non-white ethnicity, adolescence, female sex and living in a deprived area. It is also apparent from the audit that the growing numbers of young people with type 2 diabetes receiving care in paediatric diabetes units are at higher risk of poorer care and related complications than those with type 1 diabetes.

“I commend all staff working in paediatric diabetes units, managers, networks and commissioners to engage with and support the National Children and Young People’s Diabetes Quality Programme being established by the RCPCH to catalyse improvements in care across England and Wales.”

The report concluded that it was important to continue to “focus on improving the diabetes care of children and young people with diabetes in England and Wales”.  

The report added: “The key successes identified include the continuing downward trend in National HbA1c, and increases in the percentages of children and young people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes receiving recommended health checks.

“However, the audit continues to identify variation in care and outcomes at unit, regional, and national level. Poorer outcomes continue to be associated with non-white ethnicity, adolescence, female gender, and living in a deprived area. Inequalities in treatment deprivation observed previously were also shown to be widening, with children and young people in the least deprived areas being even more likely to be using an insulin pump compared to those in the most deprived areas than in previous audit cycles. Patient and Paediatric Diabetes Unit factors responsible for the inequalities identified by the audit must be explored and addressed as part of local and national improvement strategies to improve diabetes management and outcomes.”

The National Paediatric Diabetes Audit (NPDA) has been carried out for the last 14 years, with the aim of comparing the care and outcomes of all children and young people with diabetes receiving care from Paediatric Diabetes Units (PDUs) in England and Wales. The audit is commissioned by the Health Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP), funded by NHS England and the Welsh Government, and is managed by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

The report added that prevalence rates of type 1 diabetes has remained stable since 2013/14, however there had been consistent increases in prevalence amongst children aged 5-9 since 2012/13.

There were 2,807 children and young people aged up to 15 newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2016/17, giving an incidence of 25.4 per 100,000 general population.  

Read the report here
Read the DRWF leaflet A healthy diet and diabetes and Exercise and diabetes here
Category: Research
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