Diabetes mellitus is one of the common endocrine diseases affecting all age groups with over one million people in the UK having the condition. Effective control and monitoring can reduce mortality and morbidity. Much of the management and monitoring of diabetic patients, particularly patients with Type 2 diabetes, is undertaken by the GP and members of the primary care team.
Type 1 diabetes is a serious, lifelong condition where blood glucose levels are too high because the body does not produce insulin. Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune condition and is not caused by lifestyle factors. Around 10% of people living with diabetes in the UK have Type 1 diabetes. It’s the most common type of diabetes in childhood but it can develop at any age.
Type 2 diabetes is also a serious, lifelong condition where blood glucose levels are too high because the body does not produce sufficient insulin or the insulin it does produce does not function properly. Around 90% of people living with diabetes in the UK have Type 2 diabetes, and it’s the most common type in adults. Type 2 diabetes starts gradually, usually later in life, although people are being diagnosed at a younger age. Family history, age and ethnic background can affect the likelihood of developing Type 2 diabetes and people who are overweight or obese are at higher risk of developing the condition.
The prevalence of diabetes in Herefordshire rose between 2012/13 and 2016/17 in line with the trend nationally. In 2016/17 the prevalence rate in Herefordshire adults (17 plus) was 6.8%, similar to the rate of 6.7% nationally. Prevalence in Herefordshire GP practices ranged between 5.2% and 7.8%. The highest prevalence was recorded in North and West Locality and the lowest in East Locality. The prevalence rate of diabetes in older adults (65 plus) was 24.2% in Herefordshire; significantly higher than that in the West Midlands NHS Region (16.9%) and in England (17.3%).
In 2016/17, in the Herefordshire CCG area 13% of people aged 12 years and over with type 1 diabetes achieved all three treatment targets (HbA1c, cholesterol and blood pressure), a significantly lower proportion than nationally (19%) and regionally (18.8%). In the same period, 36.2% of people aged 12 years and over with type 2 diabetes achieved all three treatment targets (HbA1c, cholesterol and blood pressure), again a significantly lower proportion than nationally (41.1%) and regionally (42.4%).
 Diabetes: the basics, Diabetes UK.