Less than half of diabetes patients achieving blood pressure targets

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New figures show over 1.2 million patients had not met the blood pressure target of less than 140/80 for the 2.3 million patients with diabetes in England and Wales whose blood pressure was recorded.

Today’s audit report shows wide variation in achieving the 140/80 blood pressure target between Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and Local Health Boards (LHBs). Some CCGs and LHBs met this target in 53 per cent of cases but in others it was met in less than 44 per cent of cases.

The National Diabetes Audit 2011-2012 records the three NICE recommended treatment targets that should be monitored and met for patients with diabetes which are glucose control, blood pressure and serum cholesterol.

Diabetes is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and most people with Type 2 diabetes have high blood pressure. Blood pressure that is not controlled properly increases the risk of heart attacks, heart failure and stroke.

The audit is the largest of its kind in the world and presents 2011-2012 findings for the care of almost 2.5 million people with diabetes, an 11 per cent increase in participation on the previous year. It is managed by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) in partnership with Diabetes UK and is commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP).

The National Diabetes Audit 2011-2012 covers data recorded by 88 per cent of GP practices across England and Wales. The key findings show:

  • Diabetes was more prevalent in men than in women in each age group.
  • Over half of patients diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes did not receive all diabetes checks (56.8 per cent, or 117,800 out of 207,570) and over a third of patients with Type 2 diabetes did not receive all checks (37.4 per cent, or 819,980 out of 2.2 million).
  • Younger patients were less likely than older patients to receive all of the annual checks. Just over one third (34.0 per cent) of patients aged 20 to 29 years received all checks.
  • For all patients with diabetes that participated in the audit, blood pressure targets of 140/80 were achieved in 48.1 per cent of cases, slightly higher than the 2010-2011 achieved rate of 44.6 per cent.

Dr Bob Young, clinical lead for the audit, said:

“Today’s audit shows how much scope there is for reducing heart disease and stroke in people with diabetes by achieving the blood pressure treatment target more often.”

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