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Diabetes numbers predicted to soar

The number of people with diabetes in the UK is set to almost double by 2025, experts have warned, which would take the total to more than four million.

Diabetes UK says that 2.3 million people in the UK are currently diagnosed with diabetes, and a further 500,000 have the condition but are not aware of it.

The charity's predictions would mean an extra 1.3 million people with the condition by 2025, the equivalent of a 46% increase and taking the total to an estimated 4.2 million.

The forecasted increase has been put down to an anticipated rise in numbers of people who are overweight or obese, as 80% of those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are overweight.

It will mean higher costs for the NHS, which already spends about £10,000 per minute treating the condition and its resulting complications, which include heart disease, blindness, kidney disease and amputation.

"These new figures are shocking and confirm that diabetes is one of the main health challenges facing the UK today," said Douglas Smallwood, Diabetes UK's chief executive.

"We need to encourage people to reduce their risk of developing the condition by eating healthily, maintaining a healthy weight and leading an active lifestyle."

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Diabetes UK

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