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Diabetes numbers double in 20 years

By Editor
27th February 2018, NHS England Research Type 1 diabetes Type 2 diabetes Type 2 prevention

Diabetes numbers have more than doubled in the last 20 years with nearly 90 per cent of diagnoses being type 2, according to new figures.

The data, released by Diabetes UK, show there are now almost 3.7 million people living with a diagnosis of the condition in the UK, an increase of 1.9 million since 1998.

Those living with either type 1 or type 2 has increased by almost 100,000 since last year – from 3,590,501 to 3,689,509. Off that figures, almost nine in 10 people have type 2 diabetes.

It is has been estimated there are nearly 1 million people among the general population who do not realise they have the condition and are yet to be diagnosed. It is thought there are an estimated 12.3 million people who are at an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in the UK, and obesity is the leading cause in the majority of preventable cases.

The West Yorkshire city of Bradford has the UK’s highest prevalence of diabetes, with more than one in 10 people (10.4 per cent) living with a diagnosis. Conversely, Richmond in London has the lowest incidence, with 3.6 per cent of the population affected. The national average is currently 6.6 per cent.

Chris Askew, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: “Diabetes is the fastest growing health crisis of our time; and the fact that diagnoses have doubled in just twenty years should give all of us serious pause for thought.

“Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are serious conditions that can lead to devastating complications such as amputation, blindness, kidney disease, stroke and heart disease if people don’t receive a timely diagnosis and begin receiving the right care.

“With more than 12 million people across the UK at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and prevalence of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes still on the rise, it’s clear there’s a huge amount of work to be done.

“We want the Government to recognise the seriousness of the growing diabetes crisis, take action to help those at increased risk, and help us turn the tables on this devastating condition.”

Three in five women (59 per cent) and two in three men (68 per cent) are overweight or obese. More than one in five children (22 per cent) are overweight or obese in their first year of primary school in England. This increases to more than one in three (34 per cent) by the time they leave primary school.

Steps have been made to lower the number of people with type 2 diabetes by introducing the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme in England.

The Low Carb Program, developed by the online forum, has also seen overwhelming success. More than 270,000 have joined the 10-week online digital therapy, which provides free nutrition and lifestyle education to people with type 2 diabetes.

It shows people how to lose weight, reduce their HbA1c levels, become more active and in some cases completely come off their type 2 diabetes medication.

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