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Defuse the diabetes timebomb

Today, on World Diabetes Day, Diabetes UK is calling on the Government to take action to defuse the diabetes timebomb as new figures reveal there are now more than three million people in the UK with the condition.

100,000 new cases of diabetes were diagnosed last year alone.

There are 2.3 million people in the UK diagnosed with diabetes, and up to a further 750,000 who have Type 2 diabetes but do not know it.

Risk of complications

If poorly managed or left undiagnosed, people with diabetes increase their chances of developing serious complications such as blindness, amputation, kidney damage, heart disease and stroke. People face a reduced life expectancy of up to 20 years if they have Type 1 diabetes, and up to 10 years if they have Type 2 diabetes.

Global Type 2 epidemic

The number of people diagnosed with diabetes has gone up by 100,000 in the last year, pushing the figure from 2.2 million to 2.3 million. Most of these were cases of Type 2 diabetes, which is closely linked to obesity and has reached epidemic proportions across the world.

“Diabetes UK is calling for immediate action on Type 2 diabetes and obesity to prevent future generations facing a lifetime of ill health and an early grave," said Douglas Smallwood, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK.

“Type 2 diabetes is the biggest health challenge of our time. We need to take collective and individual responsibility for this devastating issue, which means government must work with all sections of society to enable them to live healthier lives. After all, studies have shown that changes to diet and levels of exercise can reduce new cases of Type 2 diabetes by 58 per cent. This proves that we really can make a difference and begin to defuse the diabetes timebomb.

“Diabetes UK is committed to reducing the numbers of undiagnosed cases of Type 2 diabetes in the UK. Our mission is to improve the lives of people with diabetes and to work towards a future without the condition.”

UN recognition

This is the first World Diabetes Day since last year’s landmark United Nations (UN) resolution which recognised diabetes as a major threat to global health.

World Diabetes Day aims to highlight the seriousness of diabetes and the impact the condition has on the 246 million people across the world that have it.

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