The number of people diagnosed with diabetes has increased by over 100,000 in the past year.
Figures for England published today by the Information Centre for health and social care show that diabetes prevalence has jumped from 3.3 per cent to 3.6 per cent or from 1,766,000 to over 1,890,000 in just one year.
“These figures show that diabetes is one of the main health challenges facing us today and the problem is getting worse all the time. 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 also know that up to 750,000 people have diabetes and are not aware of it. This means that thousands of people are going about their daily lives unaware they have a condition that reduces their life expectancy.”
The figures also show large regional variations. Birmingham and the Black Country and North East London have the highest rates at 4.1 per cent of their populations.
The lowest rates are in the Thames Valley area with only 2.9 per cent of the population diagnosed with diabetes.
Diabetes UK recently launched its Measure Up campaign to get people to think about their health. It urges people to take a quick waist measurement to check if they’re at risk of Type 2 diabetes as early diagnosis is crucial to try to avoid the many complications of diabetes.