The number of people diagnosed with diabetes in England has increased by approximately 70,000 in the past year only, according to new figures released today.
There are now also up to four million people in England who are registered as obese with GP practices.
“These figures are truly alarming as 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 need to do all we can to raise awareness of the condition and to encourage people to follow a healthy diet, active lifestyle to help them reduce their risk of developing diabetes."
He added: "As the number of people being diagnosed is rising, we also need to remember that up to 750,000 people have diabetes in the UK 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 new figures are from the 2006-2007 Quality and Outcomes framework (QOF) for England by The Information Centre for Health and Social Care. They show that diabetes prevalence has jumped from 3.6 per cent to 3.7 per cent or from 1,915,605 people diagnosed with the condition to 1,986,200.
The QOF results can be accessed by clicking on the related box on the right hand column.