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Lack of awareness of the 330 diabetes related amputations in Wales

Fewer than half of people are aware that diabetes can cause serious complications such as amputations, according to a new survey, despite the fact that there are around 330 diabetes-related amputations in Wales a year.

The UK-wide survey of 1,986 people by Ipsos Mori, which was commissioned by Diabetes UK, suggests that just 43 per cent of people are aware that diabetes can cause foot ulcers or amputations.

The charity is concerned that awareness of the devastating impact diabetes can have is so low, with the survey also showing that less than half of people understand that the condition can cause blindness (47 per cent) or early death (45 per cent).

Diabetes UK has launched the findings to mark the start of a hard-hitting national advertising campaign in Wales and across the UK that will get across the serious potential impact of the condition on both people and their families.

The aim of the campaign, which is being funded by Diabetes UK’s National Charity Partnership with Tesco, is to raise awareness of the potential impact of Type 2 diabetes. Up to 80 per cent of Type 2 cases could be prevented or delayed through lifestyle changes, but the charity is concerned that people in Wales may not understand why it is so important to do what people can to help prevent it.

Diabetes UK Cymru’s Director Dai Williams said: “The stark fact is that there are around 330 diabetes related amputations a year here in Wales and yet our new research shows that public understanding of its consequences is much too low.

“It is vital that we raise awareness across the whole of Wales about the potential consequences of Type 2 diabetes, in particular, so that people understand that if they are carrying extra weight then it is really important that they take steps to lose it.

“This is why I hope our advertising campaign will get across the message about the seriousness of diabetes and give people who are concerned that they might be at risk something practical they can do to reduce their own risk. It’s much better to take steps to lose weight now than have to manage a serious lifelong condition.”

The campaign will run until 14 December. Radio adverts are appearing on Smooth Radio South Wales from Monday 17 November, adverts will also appear on Arriva Wales’ trains, gyms, malls, cinemas and motorway service stations. National TV adverts will also appear from Monday 17 November.

The TV advert tells the stories of three people affected by the consequences of diabetes. People can text GUIDE to 70707 to receive a free guide to diabetes and a pedometer.

To find out more about diabetes complications visit www.diabetes.org.uk