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Study shows rise in avoidable diabetes hospital visits

Hospital admissions for a short-term and avoidable complication of diabetes have risen by 39 per cent in the last ten years, a new analysis has concluded.

Almost 80,000 people were admitted to hospital in England for hypoglycaemia – where the blood sugar of a person with diabetes drops to dangerously low levels – for a total of 101,475 episodes between 2005 and 2014, an NIHR-supported study carried out at the Leicester Diabetes Centre found.

The number of admissions for the low blood sugar episodes also known as hypos increased from 7,868 in 2005 to 11,756 in 2010 representing a 49 per cent jump and then 10,977 in 2014, up 39 per cent in ten years.

It represents a 14 per cent hike if the general increase in hospital visits is taken into account, according to the research published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal.

Professor Kamlesh Khunti, Professor of Primary Care Diabetes & Vascular Medicine our University, based at the Leicester Diabetes Centre, said: “Given the continuous rise of diabetes prevalence, ageing population, and costs associated with hypoglycaemia, individual and national initiatives should be implemented to reduce the burden of hospital admissions for hypos.”

Lead researcher Dr Francesco Zaccardi added: “With this study we gathered information about long-term trends in hospital admission for hypoglycaemia and subsequent outcomes in England to help widen understanding for the global burden of hospitalisation for hypoglycaemia.”

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