British Diabetic Association, 10 Queen Anne Street, London W1M OBD, telephone 071-323 1531.
The British Diabetic Association, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, has launched a 'Symptoms Campaign', aiming to reduce the incidence of avoidable complications related to the disease through early diagnosis. A thousand new cases of diabetes in adults and children are reported every week, and since 1980 the incidence of the disease in children under 15 years old has nearly doubled. Sufferers from diabetes are unable to convert glucose in the blood into energy, and must rely either on daily insulin injections or a carefully regulated diet and tablets. High blood glucose levels can lead to blindness, kidney and heart disease. The association's work is three-fold: funding research, campaigning and giving practical help to diabetics. It runs a Careline which receives over 80,000 calls each year; and organises holidays for children with diabetes, aged from 5 to 18, to help them learn about the disease.