The National Paediatric Diabetes Audit revealed that a “worrying high” number of diabetes sufferers aged over 12 are showing signs of potentially serious complications.


The audit also found that more than a quarter of young people in the UK with Type 1 diabetes have high blood pressure, 7% were showing signs of a high risk of future kidney disease and a shocking 14% were found to be suffering early signs of eye disease which could potentially lead to blindness.


Nearly one-in-five aged under 11 with this form of diabetes were also classed as being obese.


Recommendations state that children over the age of 12 should be given seven key checks each year, but the results found that just 16% were.


Clinical lead for the audit Dr Justin Warner, said: “On the one hand the picture is positive; the quality of care for children and young people with diabetes is improving and we’re getting better at ensuring care processes are met. Yet the challenge we face is also growing, with more children being diagnosed with diabetes and some displaying early signs of potentially serious long term health problems. This is a lifelong condition where tight overall diabetes control is important to reduce the risk of complications later in life. This requires a close partnership between healthcare professionals delivering care and children and families with diabetes.”


Sarah Johnson, director of policy and communications at Type 1 diabetes charity JDRF, said: “Although we’re pleased to see an increase in the number of children achieving in-range blood glucose control, we’re alarmed by the numbers showing signs of complications at such a young age. Improvements in treatment and early interventions to prevent these complications need to be prioritised urgently by the NHS, and healthcare professionals must be given the help and resource they need to help their young patients manage a serious, life-long condition.”