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One in five deaths associated with diabetes: doctors call for diabetes plan


Dramatic high mortality: experts call for National Diabetes Plan

The number of diabetics has increased massively for years. According to a recent study, almost a fifth of all deaths in Germany are associated with diabetes. Experts are now calling for more effective measures against the disease. Among other things, healthy food should be exempt from VAT.

The number of diabetics is increasing

Diabetes is one of the major common diseases in Germany. Around six million diabetics currently live in this country, with around 300,000 new patients every year. Poor or even untreated, the disease has dramatic consequences: According to the German Diabetes Society (DDG), the complication rate for heart attack, heart failure (heart weakness) and stroke is about 2 to 3 times higher. According to a study, about every fifth death in Germany is associated with the so-called diabetes. The DDG is now calling for a national diabetes plan.

A fifth of all deaths are associated with diabetes

A good fifth of all deaths in Germany are likely to be caused by diabetes mellitus. This is the result of a study by the German Diabetes Center (DDZ), which was recently published in the journal "Diabetes Care".

As a consequence, the German Diabetes Society (DDG) makes an urgent appeal to those responsible for politics to implement effective measures for the prevention of relationships quickly.

These include, for example, the exemption from VAT for healthy food and the "National Diabetes Plan" to improve medical care.

The foodwatch consumer organization had also recently campaigned for the abolition of VAT on fruit and vegetables.

Mortality higher than expected

"In Germany, there have only been estimates of diabetes-related mortality based on regionally limited cohort studies and surveys, in which only a few people with diabetes were examined," wrote the DDZ in a statement.

However, since 2014, routine data from the statutory health insurance companies have been available to scientists, which represent around 90 percent of the German population.

They have now been evaluated for the first time and show that every fifth death is associated with diabetes. "That is almost ten times more people than previously thought," comments DDG President Professor Dr. med. Dirk Müller-Wieland the new findings in a message.

Exempt healthy food from VAT

Due to the dramatic numbers, the DDG calls for effective health policy measures.

This includes a tiered VAT system for food - unhealthy products with a high proportion of sugar, fat and salt should become more expensive, while healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables should be exempt from VAT.

In addition, politicians should prohibit the advertising of unhealthy food aimed at children, introduce binding standards for healthy school meals and at least one hour of exercise every day in daycare centers and schools.

“These measures would mean that fewer and fewer people will develop diabetes in the future. This in turn would massively relieve the health care system in Germany, ”emphasized DDG managing director Barbara Bitzer.

National diabetes plan called for

In addition, the DDG is calling for a "National Diabetes Plan" for Germany. The starting points listed therein aim at better medical care for people with diabetes.

"This would effectively reduce the dramatic mortality risk of diabetes patients," said Bitzer.

"The shocking study results show once again that politicians now urgently need to take countermeasures in order to significantly reduce the number of illnesses and to increase the life expectancy of diabetes patients," said DDG board member Professor Seufert from the Department of Endocrinology and Diabetology at the University Hospital Freiburg.

Healthier lifestyle

However, those affected can do something themselves. The main risk factors for type 2 diabetes are unhealthy eating, lack of exercise and being overweight or obese.

As a rule, those affected are initially recommended a healthy lifestyle. Losing weight can often normalize insulin levels again.

Regular exercise also helps to lower high blood sugar. For this, sports such as jogging, Nordic walking, cycling or even walking are possible.

In addition, scientific studies have indicated that certain foods can have a positive effect. For example, a study showed that broccoli lowers blood sugar in type 2 diabetics. (ad)

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