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Half a million people in the UK with undiagnosed diabetes

More than 500,000 people in the UK have Type 2 diabetes but don’t know it.

Diabetes UK is encouraging anyone with at least two risk factors to go to their doctor for a simple test.

Risk factors of Type 2 diabetes include:


  • being overweight or having a large waist - 37 inches or more for men, but 35 inches or more for men of South Asian origin, 31.5 inches or more for all women
  • aged over 40 or over 25 for people of Black or South Asian origin
  • having a family history of diabetes.

Early diagnosis and good management of diabetes can significantly reduce the risk of diabetic complications such as heart disease, kidney damage and blindness.

Some people undiagnosed for up to 12 years

“It is shocking that more than half a million people are going about their daily lives unaware they have a condition that puts them at greater risk of devastating complications,” said Douglas Smallwood, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK.

“Some people can go undiagnosed for up to 12 years and around half of people with Type 2 diabetes are already showing signs of complications when they are diagnosed, due to their diagnosis being later than it should be. This is a tragedy as diabetes is a manageable condition and many people live full and healthy lives. The sooner people are diagnosed, the sooner they can start treating their condition and taking control of their lives.”

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