NHS at stake as diabetes numbers soar
Tackling diabetes in England is “fundamental” to the future of the NHS, according to Public Health England (PHE).
The new Diabetes Prevalence Model, produced by the PHE National Cardiovascular Intelligence Network, states there are 3.8 million people thought to have both types of diabetes.
It is thought approximately 90 per cent of diabetes cases are type 2, which is largely preventable.
John Newton, chief knowledge officer at Public Health England, said: “The number of people with diabetes has been steadily increasing and tackling it is fundamental to the sustainable future of the NHS.
“Diabetes can be an extremely serious disease for those that have it and treating it and its complications costs the NHS almost £10 billion a year.
“Developing type 2 diabetes is not an inevitable part of aging, we have an opportunity through public health to reverse this trend and safeguard the health of the nation and the future of the NHS.”
The figures reiterate that diabetes is an increasing burden of ill health, underlining the need for urgent action to lessen the impact on individuals, as well as the health and social care system supporting them.
The model suggests that one in four people with diabetes, an estimated 940,000, are unaware of their condition.
The disease can lead to serious complications including foot amputation and kidney disease, and is associated with an increased risk of stroke and heart attack.
The proportion of people who have diabetes increases with age with 9 per cent of people aged 45 to 54 have diabetes, but for over 75s it is 23.8 per cent.
Diabetes in older ages has even bigger health implications as people are more likely to be suffering from other diseases, particularly cardiovascular diseases.
Based on current population trends, by 2035 it is thought there will be 4.9 million people with diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes currently costs the NHS £8.8 billion each year and tackling the rise in the disease is vital to the sustainable future of the health service.