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New diabetes prevalence figures for England

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New data from Public Health England (PHE) reveals 3.8 million people in England aged over 16 had diabetes in 2015, around 9% of the adult population.

The new Diabetes Prevalence Model, produced by PHE’s National Cardiovascular Intelligence Network (NCVIN) and launched today at the PHE Conference at Warwick University, estimates the total number of adults with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in England.

Whilst 3.8 million people are estimated to have both types of diabetes, approximately 90% of diabetes cases are Type 2, which is largely preventable or manageable by lifestyle changes, which also provide additional benefits for health and wellbeing. The likelihood of developing Type 2 diabetes is increased by being overweight (although family history, ethnicity and age can also increase risk).

1 in 4 people with diabetes are undiagnosed

The model suggests that one in four people with diabetes, nearly 1 million, are unaware of their condition. Diabetes can lead to serious complications including foot amputation and kidney disease, and is associated with an increased risk of stroke and heart attack.

Tackling diabetes is vital to the future of the health service

Based on current population trends, by 2035 4.9 million people will have diabetes. Type 2 diabetes currently costs the NHS £8.8 billion each year and tackling the rise in the disease is vital to the sustainable future of the health service.

'We want people to find out their risk'

Chris Askew, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said: “These new estimates clearly show the scale of diabetes and the huge impact on people living with the condition. Too often people only find out they have Type 2 diabetes after they have developed serious complications, such as heart or kidney disease, or foot problems which can lead to amputations.

"Avoiding or delaying such devastating complications depends on people getting diagnosed earlier, so they get help and support to manage their condition well. We urge people over 40 to attend their NHS Health Check when invited. We also want people to take the necessary steps to find out their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, such as using Diabetes UK’s onlineKnow Your Risktool.”

 

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