Most Young People with Type 1 Don’t Visit Doctor Enough

In the UK, nearly three-quarters of young people with Type 1 diabetes are not getting the medical attention they need, according to a report.

A UK government audit concluded that only 27% of those with Type 1 under the age of 40 received all eight recommended check-ups a year. The audit also revealed that geographical location played a significant role in how much care people with Type 1 received. In some areas 80 percent of the Type 1 population made it to all eight appointments, while in other areas that number plummeted to just 24 percent.

The 2014-2015 National Diabetes Audit analyzes the effectiveness of diabetes treatments against standards set by England and Wales National Health System (NHS). The audit included data from nearly 2 million people with diabetes. The report found that the percentage of people with Type 1 receiving adequate care is dropping.

In the report, Diabetes UK chief executive Chris Askew criticized the NHS for not doing enough to ensure that people with diabetes have adequate access to medical care. Regular check-ups are vital to monitor for diabetes-related complications, like retinopathy, neuropathy, and kidney disease.

Because the U.S. does not have a central health system like the NHS, it’s difficult to obtain the same kind of health data. Searching CDC statistics, however, we were able to piece together some info.

Roughly 29.1 million people in the U.S. had Type 1 diabetes or Type 2 diabetes in 2014. A 2010 report of doctor visits (the most recent we could find) estimated that people with diabetes in the U.S. visited doctors 113.3 million times that year. If we allow for an apples-to-oranges comparison of the data from those two different years, we can do a rough estimate that people with diabetes averaged just under four doctor visits a year.

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Courtney Major currently attends Emerson College where she majors in Writing, Literature, and Publishing with a minor in Marketing Communications.

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