This site is intended for health professionals only

UK on cusp of diabetes epidemic

The UK may soon be experiencing a diabetes epidemic as new figures show that up to 70,000 people in the past year alone have been diagnosed with the disease.

More and more people in the UK are also becoming obese, with up to 4 million people in England registered as obese with their GP practices.

Diabetes UK warn that this is a big problem as obesity is closely linked to the development of type 2 diabetes, and around 80% of people diagnosed with the disease are overweight at the time of diagnosis.

“These figures are truly alarming as diabetes is a serious condition, which can lead to blindness, kidney failure, heart disease, stroke and nerve damage that can cause amputation,” said Douglas Smallwood, chief executive of Diabetes UK.

“We need to do all we can to raise awareness of the condition and to encourage people to follow a healthy diet and active lifestyle to help them reduce their risk of developing diabetes.

Diabetes UK has recently launched its Measure Up awareness campaign to show people the risk factors that can lead to the disease, and encourage those at risk to get tested.

“As the number of people being diagnosed is rising, we also need to remember that up to 750,000 people have diabetes in the UK and are not aware of it,” says Mr Smallwood.

“This means that thousands of people are going about their daily lives unaware they have a condition that reduces their life expectancy.”

Diabetes UK