West London diabetics are more likely to die or suffer 'devastating' complications including amputation because their condition is undetected, a charity has claimed.
Diabetes UK found that Kensington and Chelsea has the worst record in London for diagnosing type two diabetes with figures showing 48 per cent of people in the borough suffering the condition are unaware they have it.
This would mean about 3,900 people in the borough are at risk of heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and amputations.
Westminster was the second worst London borough, with 37 per cent of undetected cases and Hammersmith and Fulham was sixth worst at 25 per cent.
Diabetes UK London regional manager Roz Rosenblatt said: "It is extremely worrying that thousands of people are going about their daily lives unaware they have a condition that puts them at risk of devastating complications.
"Early diagnosis is essential so people can start managing their condition and help reduce the risk of developing these complications."
A spokeswoman for Kensington and Chelsea Primary Care Trust (PCT) questioned the accuracy of the method used to calculate the number of diabetics in the borough, adding: "K&C is likely to have a very small number of people with diabetes compared to other boroughs, due to its affluence, very low levels of obesity and young age profile. However, the PCT recognises the significant challenges locally, arising from the borough's mobile, multi-ethnic population."
Westminster PCT said: "Diabetes is identified as one of our single biggest health challenges with at least 10,000 people estimated to be suffering from the disease and numbers continuing to rise. The PCT's Diabetes Centre hosts one of country's most successful retinal (eye) screening programmes."
And Hammermsith & Fulham PCT said: "Our local information suggests there could be as many as 2,400 people in the borough living with undiagnosed diabetes. In July we set up a health trainers' programme to raise awareness of long-term conditions and encourage people to take up screening."