A new analysis by Diabetes UK has calculated that 500 people with diabetes die prematurely every week in England and Wales, with a significant number of these deaths down to avoidable complications.

The analysis of data - from the most recent NHS National Diabetes Audit report - shows that men and women between the ages of 35 and 64 living with type I diabetes are three to four times more likely to die prematurely, mostly from heart disease or stroke, than those without the condition.

According to the charity, men and women in the same age range with type II diabetes are up to two times more likely to die prematurely.

However, serious complications of diabetes, such as amputations, sight loss, kidney disease, stroke and heart disease, are largely preventable if the disease is managed effectively, it stressed.

“500 preventable, premature deaths each week is a harrowing statistic that highlights how serious diabetes can be. It’s vital that this seriousness is recognised, and that the NHS continues to fund improvements to diabetes care beyond 2019,” said Diabetes UK’s chief executive Chris Askew.

“The importance of helping people with diabetes avoid preventable complications, which can often lead to death, cannot be overstated.”

The Diabetes Transformation Fund has invested more than £80 million in regions across England to improve the care people with diabetes receive since 2017; the charity is now urging NHS England to “continue its concerted action to improve the quality of local diabetes services beyond 2019”.