UK Diabetes Soars

The number of people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK increased by nearly 130,000 in the past year, according to a leading charity.

The report by Diabetes UK, published on Thursday, says some 2.9 million in the UK now suffer from the disease, representing a 50% rise since GPs first published diabetes data in 2005 (2m).

The charity said the rise is mainly in cases of Type 2 diabetes, which accounts for around 90% of all diagnoses.

Whilst Type 2 diabetes commonly develops in people who are overweight, the charity said it was urging people to be aware of the other risk factors associated with the condition, which include having a large waist, being aged over 40, having a family history of the condition.

Barbara Young, Diabetes UK Chief Executive, said, "The rate of increase of diabetes is growing, with huge human cost and cost to the NHS. The time for action is now. Whilst rates of other serious conditions, including many cancers, heart disease and stroke, are steady or declining, the epidemic of diabetes continues to grow at even faster rates."

The charity said that simple things make a huge impact on prevention. The vascular screening NHS Health Checks is critical in detecting early signs of Type 2 diabetes, while losing 10% of your weight reduces your chances of developing the disease by 50%. Ms Young added: "We must reverse this trend if more people are not going to suffer unnecessarily and if diabetes is not going to bankrupt the NHS. Around 10 per cent of NHS spending goes on diabetes and its complications; this equates to £9 billion per year or £1 million an hour."

You can check your risk of developing the condition by taking the charity's Risk Score Test.


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