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Less Than Half Of Diabetics Achieving Blood Pressure Targets

Research Shows Diabetics Not Hitting Blood Pressure Targets


Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

New figures released as part of the National Diabetes Audit has shown less than half of diabetics are achieving their set blood pressure targets.

The report, which was published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), demonstrated that some 1.2 million out of 2.3 million registered NHS diabetics did not meet their GP's target of achieving a blood pressure of 140/80.

Perhaps most worrying for government ministers is the variation in success rates for certain regions.

Some Local Health Boards and Clinical Commissioning Groups met the target in 53 per cent of cases, while others achieved a success of just 44 per cent.
Other findings from the report show that diabetes is more prevalent in men than women in all age groups.

This has worried some men's health campaigners, who point out that obesity is a rising issue in middle aged men, who despite awareness campaigns continue to put themselves at risk of developing diabetes, strokes or heart disease.

Additionally, HCSIS found that younger patients were significantly more likely than older patients to receive all the necessary checks for someone with diabetes and this contributed to their lower blood pressure.

Just over 34 per cent of patients aged 20 to 29 were checked over regularly by their GPs, although some campaigners will argue this is not high enough.
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."

Professor Jonathan Valabhji, national director of obesity and diabetes at NHS England, commented: "The National Diabetes Audit (NDA) continues to be a success, with 87.9 per cent of GP practices now included, capturing information on 2,473,239 people with diabetes."

Diabetes rates continue to grow in the UK, but this is partially due to new treatments that allow those with acute type 1 diabetics to live for longer.

Expert Opinion
It is crucial that these figures are taken into consideration as to whether more could be done to improve care for people suffering with diabetes. The report demonstrated that only half of the registered NHS diabetics meet their blood pressure targets set by their GP’s.

“With only 34 per cent of younger patients being checked regularly by their local GP, questions need to be asked whether this is adequate or whether there is a need to regulate blood pressure checks and encourage more patients to visit their GPs on a regular basis.

“The figures need to be assessed as a whole with particular attention to be focused on the regions where the statistics fall severely under the target. It is important that lessons are learned from this to protect diabetes patients in future.”
Lisa Jordan, Partner