Our new analysis predicts that, without significant government action, up to 5.5m people in the UK could be living with diabetes by 2030.
Our prediction is based on analysis of statistics from Public Health England and The Association of Public Health Observatories. It means that as many as 1-in-10 UK adults could be living with diabetes within a decade.
One in three at increased risk of type 2
Additional analysis we've carried out shows that up to 17 million people - 1-in-3 UK adults - could be at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 2030, unless there's commitment from the governments of the UK to urgently invest in diabetes care and prevention.
Urgent action required
We know that there's been progress in diabetes care, such as the hundreds of thousands of people who have been supported by the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme. But we need more action to stop our prediction from coming true.
That's why today we're calling on the UK Government to:
- Make more funding available to enable more people to avoid a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes through increasing access to proven preventative measures, such as the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme
- Support far more people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes to go into remission where possible
- Improve access to weight management services
- Ensure that everyone has the access to the care and diabetes checks they need – including tackling the backlog – as we move out of the pandemic.
The effects of the pandemic are still being felt in diabetes care. We know millions of people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes haven't had vital health checks when they needed them, and thousands of diagnoses of type 2 diabetes have been delayed or missed.
That's why action from the Government to address this is more urgent than ever.
Our Chief Executive Chris Askew OBE said:
"Every diagnosis of diabetes is life-changing. The relentlessness of the condition, and the ever-present fear of serious and life-altering complications is a lifelong reality for millions of families across the UK.
It’s a sobering thought then that, if we don’t act today, hundreds of thousands more will face the life-changing news that they have type 2 diabetes. We’re at the tipping point of a public health emergency, and need action today to stop it in its tracks.
But it doesn’t have to be this way – we know that with the right care and support, diabetes complications can be avoided, and cases of type 2 diabetes can be put into remission, or prevented altogether.
We don’t want our prediction to become a reality. What we need to see is the will, grit and determination from government to halt this crisis in its tracks, and improve the future health of our nation for generations to come."
It’s easy to find out whether you're at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and where to get support if you are. Try our free online Know Your Risk tool.
Need to talk? We’re here for you. If you’re worried about any aspect of living with diabetes, our Helpline team is on hand to help. We’re here Monday – Friday, 9am to 6pm at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0345 123 2399.