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Many type 2 diabetics get late diagnosis

Fifty-six per cent of people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes last year did not suspect they could have the condition, failing to identify its early symptoms

Fifty-six per cent of people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes last year did not even suspect they could have had the condition as they failed to identify its early symptoms. Additionally, the majority of those who were diagnosed with the condition were done so 'by accident' while undergoing routine medical tests or while being treated for other conditions or medical issues.

Only 16 per cent of people were diagnosed after they pro-actively asked for a diabetes test.

The findings come from Diabetes UK, which says that half of those with the condition already show signs of complications, such as kidney disease, by the time they are diagnosed. The charity also wants to see diabetes testing and diabetes awareness programmes being available through a variety of settings, such as pharmacies and local outreach services.

Douglas Smallwood, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: "We need to make sure that people are aware of the risk factors and symptoms of type 2 diabetes and we need to encourage them to ask for a diabetes test if they are at risk of developing the condition.

"Diabetes awareness is key if we want to prevent people from facing a future of ill health."

Diabetes UK believes that the Government's new Vascular Risk and Management Programme, targeting people between the ages of 40 and 75, which is being rolled out, will help to identify people with type 2 diabetes.

18th January 2010

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