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How many people in the UK have diabetes?

We estimate that more than 5.6 million people in the UK are living with diabetes, which is an all-time high.  

Our data shows that 4.4 million people in the UK live with diabetes. Additionally, 1.2 million people could be living with type 2 diabetes who are yet to be diagnosed. 

These registration figures for 2022-23 are up by 167,822 from 2021-22. 

How many people have type 1 diabetes? 

Around 8% of people with diabetes have type 1 diabetes

How many people have type 2 diabetes? 

Around 90% of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes

How many people have rarer diabetes types? 

The other forms of diabetes make up the remaining 2%. 

How many people are at risk of type 2 diabetes?

An estimated 6.4 million people are at an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in the UK based on blood sugar levels. We estimate that 1.2 million people are currently living with type 2 diabetes but are yet to be diagnosed. 

The risk factors of type 2 diabetes are multiple and complex. They include age, family history and ethnicity, as well as living with overweight or obesity. 

Factors such as income, education, housing, access to healthy food, as well as poorer access to healthcare, have been shown to be strongly linked to an increased risk of developing several health conditions – including obesity and type 2 diabetes.  

Research has consistently shown that for some people, combined lifestyle interventions - including diet, physical activity and sustained weight loss - can be effective in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes by about 50%. 

Diabetes and ethnicity 

People of Asian (including Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi) Chinese, Black African and Black Caribbean ethnicities have been found to be two to four times more likely to have diabetes than White populations. Type 2 diabetes is also more likely to develop at lower weight thresholds for these groups compared to people of White ethnicity. 

Diabetes complications 

We’re fighting for a world where diabetes can do no harm. 

We do it by campaigning to make sure everyone with diabetes gets the care they need to live well with diabetes. We provide advice and support so people can get to grips with their condition. And our research increases what we know about diabetes, discovers new treatments and will, one day, find a cure. 

But without the right care and support, people with all types of diabetes can be at risk of developing serious complications. Every week, diabetes leads to 184 amputations, more than 930 strokes, 660 heart attacks and 2,990 cases of heart failure.  

Diabetes is Serious 

Our Diabetes is Serious 2022 report: Recovering diabetes care: preventing the mounting crisis,(PDF, 8MB) sets out the latest diabetes statistics and our recommendations for improvement in prioritised areas of diabetes care and type 2 prevention. 

Diabetes workforce in figures 

Check out the ABCD, Diabetes UK and Society for Endocrinology Workforce Survey Report 2022 on the ABCD website. 

Diabetes and the NHS 

The NHS spends at least £10 billion a year on diabetes which is about 10% of its entire budget. 

Almost 80% of the money the NHS spends on diabetes is on treating complications. In some hospitals over a quarter of beds are used by people with diabetes. 

In 2022/23 there were 66m items prescribed for people with diabetes in England, this increased from 42.5m prescription items 10 years earlier. 

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