Almost two-thirds of all the diabetes sufferers in England are missing out on vital NHS checks, according to a report.
About 852,000 people living with diabetes – 60% of the number diagnosed with the disease – are failing to have the correct amount of cholesterol and blood sugar levels tests, as well as regular body mass index (BMI) checks.
The NHS Information Centre report looked at care offered by 5,359 English GP practices in 2007/08 to people with type 1 diabetes, which is usually diagnosed in childhood, and type 2, which is linked to unhealthy lifestyles and obesity.
The research found that people with type 1 diabetes missed out on more NHS services across key areas of care than those with type 2.
The UK's health watchdog, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), recommends nine sets of checks, including: eye and foot examinations; blood pressure and cholesterol tests; glucose monitoring; BMI; and smoking history.
The report also found wide regional variations in the number of diabetics suffering complications, with people in some parts of the country significantly more likely to have a stroke, heart attack or kidney failure.