New figures have revealed that 2011-2012 saw over 6,200 hospital admissions among under-25s with diabetes (both type 1 and type 2) – with almost 40% of these being due to diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).
The majority of DKA cases were among people who were already diagnosed as having diabetes, suggesting more needs to be done to help young people with their glucose management.
The report, produced by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, forms the second part of their National Paediatric Diabetes Audit. The first part, which you can read more about here, uncovered a significant gap between recommended checks (such as HbA1c and eye tests), and the care young people with diabetes are actually receiving.
This latest part covers the causes of hospitalisations amongst young people with diabetes. It highlights that the number of hospital admissions for DKA remains high, at around twice the level seen in 2005-2006. Young women in England saw the highest rate of admission for DKA, at over 11,500 hospitalisations per 100,000 people.
However, the numbers for most age groups and both genders were slightly lower than for the 2010-2011 period.
The report also found that 9% of hospitalisations – or 564 within 2011-2012 – were due to hypoglycaemia. This level was highest in children aged under 14 years, falling sharply in older groups. This may have been due to older people having developed better overall control or better ways of self-managing a hypo.
JDRF is funding several projects that would help people manage their blood glucose, including the artificial pancreas, a device that uses CGM readings to instruct an insulin pump to deliver the correct amount of insulin. You can read more about this research here.
The full RCPCH report can be read on their website here.