Health chief fears diabetes to soar across Bradford district

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , City Hall Reporter

The number of people across the district suffering from diabetes has jumped by 30 per cent in just four years, according to a new health report.

The condition now affects one in 20 people, but this could further soar to one in ten by 2030, health bosses have warned.

According to a report by the Director of Public Health, Dr Anita Parkin, there are now around 38,200 people with diabetes in Bradford and Airedale, 5.3 per cent of the population.

Most of them – 85 per cent – suffer from type two diabetes, which is linked to obesity, poor diet and stress. And more than 6,000 diabetics could be undiagnosed.

According to Dr Parkin’s report, the number of patients with diabetes has increased by 7,000, or 30 per cent, between 2007/08 and 2011/12.

Her report estimates that by 2030, one in ten people in Bradford and Airedale, 56,000 people overall, will have the condition.

Dr Parkin, along with the district’s three Clinical Commissioning Groups, are now putting together a Bradford District Action Plan, while an independent review of services for diabetics is also under way.

The review was sparked after a national audit assessed whether diabetics in Bradford were being given nine key types of care, as recommended by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence.

These include measurements of weight, blood pressure, smoking status, cholesterol, and tests to assess whether the eyes and feet have been damaged by diabetes.

This audit found that a comparatively low proportion of patients in Bradford with type 1 or type 2 diabetes were getting all nine recommended tests.

The plan which is now being drawn up is looking at the ways patients diagnosed with diabetes are currently treated, to find opportunities for change.

It is also likely to recommend ways in which health bosses can identify those at risk of diabetes and prevent them from developing it.

Dr Parkin’s report said: “There are a number of evidence-based, cost-effective ways to prevent diabetes, which at population level may slow the growth in prevalence.”

The report said while there was not currently an agreed approach across the district to preventing diabetes, the review could identify a clear way forward.

This is likely to involve tackling obesity in the whole population, while also assessing individuals at high risk and making interventions.

Dr Parkin’s report is going to the Bradford and Airedale Health and Wellbeing Board, which next meets on Tuesday at 10am at City Hall.

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