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Baroness Ludford: ‘Lack of urgency on diabetes’

February 24, 2012 5:08 PM

The current approach to preventing and treating diabetes means that people are dying needlessly, says Baroness Ludford MEP, co-chair of the European Union Diabetes Working Group (EUDWG). Speaking to Diabetes Dialogue, Baroness Ludford echoed the warnings made by Christel Schaldemose MEP in the January edition of Diabetes Dialogue, but said she was also heartened by the commitment of the current Danish EU presidency to an EU-wide strategy and action plan to combat the disease.Baroness Ludford said that 'despite the fact that 32 million people in Europe are living with diabetes - with a projected rise to 38 million by 2030 - there is a lack of urgency on the part of the European Commission', given that EU strategies already exist for cancer and cardiovascular disease. 'There is a willingness so far in Brussels only to approach diabetes through the horizontal prism of, for instance, obesity.' 'There may be a perception that it is not a killer like cancer,' she said, 'when actually diabetes is killing people needlessly because of late diagnosis and complications. Labelling diabetes as a lifestyle condition not only ignores genetic and other factors but also excludes those who develop type 1, including babies.' 'An EU strategy should involve a boost in funding into researching the causes and a cure, developing screening programmes, and improving treatment' said Baroness Ludford. 'EU states can share research efforts and exchange best practice to agree the most cost-effective care.

Published in 'Diabetes Dialogue', February 2012