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Study says UK type 2 rates have trebled in 20 years

By Editor
16th March 2017

The number of people in the UK with type 2 diabetes has trebled over the last two decades, according to new research. 

The findings, which were based on data collected by GP services between 1991 and 2014, also show an increase in life expectancy for people with the disease, explaining in part its increased prevalence.

The increased number of people with the disease has also been linked to better diagnosis and rising levels of obesity; between 1993 and 2010 the proportion of obese people in the UK went from 13 per cent to 26 per cent for men and from 16 per cent to 26 per cent for women.

Professor Craig Currie from Cardiff University’s School of Medicine said: “The number of people with type 2 diabetes in the UK has gone from 700,000 to around 2.8m over two decades, and it continues to increase.

“We are also seeing increased life expectancy from the disease which could be due to earlier diagnosis of the condition as well as drugs such as blood pressure tablets and statins for blood cholesterol.”

The data has also revealed that the prevalence of diagnosed type 2 diabetes increases with age, although this increase is lower in people aged 80 years and above. The disease prevalence was also generally higher in men than in women above the age of 40 years. Below the age of 40 it was similar.

Around 4.5m people live with diabetes in the UK, with more than 90 per cent of those affected having type 2 diabetes.

The research, entitled ‘Prevalence, glucose control and relative survival of people with type 2 diabetes in the UK from 1991 to 2013’ has been published in the Diabetic Medicine journal.

The organisations involved in the research include the Institute of Population Medicine, School of Medicine, Cardiff University; Global Epidemiology, Pharmatelligence, Department of Medicine, University Hospital of Wales; and Department of Medicine, Rudolfstiftung Hospital Vienna, Vienna.

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