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Diabetes up by 46 per cent in Wales in last 10 years

The number of people diagnosed with the condition in Wales reached 191,590 in 2016 - 2017.

This is an increase of more than 60,000 adults compared with 2007.

Wales has the highest prevalence of diabetes in the UK. Almost nine in ten of people in Wales diagnosed with diabetes have Type 2 diabetes. There are also almost 60,000 people living with Type 2 diabetes who have yet to be diagnosed.

Across the UK there are nearly 3.7 million people with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, and nearly 1 million people who have Type 2 diabetes but have not yet been diagnosed.

Prevalence across Wales

The Aneurin Bevan Health Board, which covers Monmouthshire, Caerphilly, Torfean, Newport and Blaenau Gwent, appears to have the highest prevalence in Wales, with 8 per cent of the population living with diabetes.

The Cardiff and Vale University Health Board has the lowest with 6 per cent, slightly lower than the UK average of 6.56 per cent.

Obesity is a huge problem

Around 58 per cent of adults in Wales are overweight or obese, a factor which makes you five times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes.

The Welsh Government and Public Health Wales are currently working on a national obesity strategy for Wales. We are calling on them to ensure it cover prevention and treatment, and commits to fully funding service provision at all levels.

Health Boards and Public Health Wales must also work together to identify people at highest risk of Type 2 diabetes, and roll out proactive prevention campaigns.

Our National Director, Dai Williams, said: “Unless we act urgently, diabetes prevalence will continue to rise.

“Type 1 diabetes isn’t currently preventable, but three in five cases of Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed. Obesity is driving the increase in Type 2 diabetes. We must tackle this epidemic to stop more people developing the condition in the future. Those at risk should be identified so that they can get the care and support they need to reduce their risk.

“The Welsh Government and Public Health Wales need to take action now to avert the fastest growing health crisis of our time.”


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