Page last updated at 08:22 GMT, Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Diabetes strategy 'needed in NI'

Diabetes monitor
Diabetes is a hormone disorder

A regional strategy is needed to tackle Diabetes in Northern Ireland, it has been claimed.

The number of people diagnosed with the condition last year grew in Northern Ireland by an unprecedented 8%, according to Diabetes UK.

"1m a day is spent on diabetes in Northern Ireland," said the charity's NI director Iain Foster.

"However, it's currently all in relation to dealing with associated complications later on in life."

Mr Foster said: "Scotland, Wales and England all have a regional strategy, Northern Ireland doesn't, and it's still very much an ad hoc approach depending on where you live in NI."

Diabetes is a hormone disorder that can cause problems with the kidneys, legs and feet, eyes, heart, nerves, and blood flow.

If left untreated, these problems can lead to kidney failure, gangrene and amputation, blindness, or stroke.

It is thought the condition is more prevalent because people are living longer, getting fatter and leading increasingly inactive lifestyles.

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