UK fifth highest in world for child type 1 diabetes
The UK ranks the fifth highest in the world for the rate of children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, figures reveal.
Each year in the UK more than 24 in every 100,000 children aged 14 and younger are told that they have this form of diabetes, which must be treated with insulin.
Experts say it is unclear why the figure is so high.
Unlike type 2 diabetes, type 1 is not linked to obesity or lifestyle.
Genes do appear to play a role.
The government said it had introduced an "incentive scheme" to ensure that every child has the best care possible, along with regional networks to share expertise in children's diabetes care across the NHS.
The league table, based on estimates from the International Diabetes Federation, includes most countries - apart from a few African nations, where often the rate of type 1 incidence is unknown.
Of all the countries with data, only Finland, Sweden, Saudi Arabia and Norway have higher rates than the UK.
The UK rate is double that in France (12.2 per 100,000) and Italy (12.1 per 100,000).
UK charities Diabetes UK and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) say it is vital that people are aware of the symptoms of type 1 diabetes because if left undiagnosed and untreated, it can lead to serious illness and even death.
A quarter of the 2,000 children a year who develop diabetes are only diagnosed once they are already seriously ill.
Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: "We do not fully understand why more children in the UK are developing type 1 diabetes than almost anywhere else in the world. But the fact Continue reading