Men aged 35-54 are almost twice as likely to have diabetes compared to their female counterparts, according to a new report out today from leading health charity Diabetes UK.
Diabetes in the UK 2009: Key statistics on diabetes reveals that 2.4% (around 92,960) of men in England aged 35-44 have diabetes compared to 1.2% (around 47,000) of women of the same age.
Statistics also show that diabetes has risen four times faster in men aged 35-44 over the last 12 years compared to women of the same age", and that, consistently, more men are overweight than women".
Approximately 90% of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes, which is strongly linked to lifestyle factors such as diet and physical activity levels. The condition can be genetic, but many people are overweight when they are diagnosed.
Simon O'Neill, Director of Care, Information and Advocacy at Diabetes UK, said: "It's very worrying that men of this age are developing diabetes at such an alarming rate compared to their female counterparts. Most of them will have type 2 diabetes which is strongly linked to lifestyle and can be prevented in many cases by eating a healthy balanced diet and doing regular physical activity.
"Women should not rest on their laurels, either. They may tend to develop the condition later in life, but the risk of death from heart disease associated with type 2 diabetes is about 50% greater in women than it is in men - not a statistic to be ignored.
"Diabetes UK is calling on everyone carrying extra weight to reduce their chances of developing type 2 diabetes by leading a healthier lifestyle. We must take action now to tackle type 2 diabetes head-on."