More than one million people with type 2 diabetes are increasing their risk of heart disease, blindness and kidney failure by not taking their medicine, a charity has warned.
Diabetes UK said that around two million people in the UK are prescribed tablets to treat the condition, but two in three are failing to take them.
The damage done to the body by not taking medication is “irreparable”, warned the charity’s chief executive, Douglas Smallwood. “It is a tragedy that such a high proportion of people are not taking their prescribed medication.
“Many people struggle to realise the importance of taking their medicines, especially if the consequences are not immediately apparent,” he said.
By taking their medication, diabetes sufferers can reduce their risk of heart disease by more than half and the risk of eye complaints and kidney disease by more than a third.
Around 750,000 people with type 2 diabetes – which occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin – are thought to be undiagnosed.
Most sufferers do not need injections of insulin and many can manage their condition by changing their lifestyle.
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