8th-14th June marks Diabetes Week in the UK, a campaign designed to raise awareness of this increasingly prevalent condition.
Indeed, the latest stats are concerning, having reached an all-time high. Diabetes UK reported in February this year that more than 3.2 million people in the UK (5% of the population) have been diagnosed with the condition. Add to that the many hundreds of thousands who are believed to be as yet undiagnosed, and many estimate the figure is fast approaching 4 million.
A recent study by the BMJ revealed that a staggering one in three adults now have borderline or pre-diabetes, and are in danger of developing the disease. The number of sufferers could therefore be set to rise steeply.
It is widely reported that Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 per cent of those diagnosed. While genetic predisposition plays a part, this form of diabetes is also associated with excess weight.
It could be argued that diabetes in itself is not particularly life threatening, but the complications that come along with it certainly can be. However, many of these complications can be avoided or mitigated with careful management and treatment of the diabetes.
This is why it’s vital to get an early diagnosis and intervention – and awareness of the risk factors could make all the difference.
Many health insurance policies seek to reduce the risk of conditions such as diabetes; for example, some providers rewarding policy holders who maintain a healthy lifestyle.
If you already have a private medical insurance policy and are diagnosed with diabetes, you will be covered for diagnosis and in some cases, for acute flare-ups. However, if you are looking to take out a policy, you will not be covered for pre-existing chronic conditions like diabetes. It is therefore essential to seek expert advice when choosing medical insurance regarding what kind of underwriting you should have.
It is worth noting that the focus of Diabetes Week 2014 is “I can” – promoting the possibility of living a normal and healthy life with diabetes. With careful and effective management and a positive attitude, a diagnosis needn’t stop you in your tracks.