Swine flu risk for people with diabetes highlighted

The impact of swine flu on GP and hospital services for people with diabetes must not be underestimated, diabetes specialists have warned.

People with diabetes are six times more likely than others to be admitted to hospital with swine flu. They are also at significantly increased risk of excessive mortality and morbidity, according to the Association of British Clinical Diabetologists (ABCD).

The association has produced advice for patients and diabetes service providers to help them managed risks posed by the pandemic.

Former ABCD Chairman, Professor Ken Shaw, who helped draft the guidance, said: ‘Influenza, as with any infection, has the potential to aggravate diabetes, resulting in deteriorating blood glucose levels and a consequent classic vicious cycle, further impairing body defences to infection.'

He added: ‘The impact of these risks, and the way they are managed both in hospitals and in primary care, needs expert assessment as part of contingency planning at a local level.'

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