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Diabetes rates in the UK soar to nearly 3m

The number of people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK has increased by nearly 130,000 to 2.9 million in the past year. This is nearly a 50 per cent rise since GPs first published diabetes data in 2005 (2m).

The rise is mainly in cases of Type 2 diabetes, which accounts for around 90 per cent of all diagnoses. Whilst Type 2 diabetes commonly develops in people who are overweight, we are urging people to be aware of the other risk factors associated with the condition, which include having a large waist, being aged over 40, having a family history of the condition, or being from Black, Asian or minority ethnic communities.

Huge human cost

Barbara Young, Diabetes UK Chief Executive, said, "The rate of increase of diabetes is growing, with huge human cost and cost to the NHS. The time for action is now. Whilst rates of other serious conditions, including many cancers, heart disease and stroke, are steady or declining, the epidemic of diabetes continues to grow at even faster rates.

"Simple things can make a huge impact. The vascular screening NHS Health Checks is critical in detecting early signs of Type 2 diabetes. Losing 10 per cent of your weight reduces your chances of developing Type 2 diabetes by 50 per cent. Check your risk level online using ourRisk Score Test

"We must reverse this trend if more people are not going to suffer unnecessarily and if diabetes is not going to bankrupt the NHS. Around 10 per cent of NHS spending goes on diabetes and its complications; this equates to £9 billion per year or £1 million an hour."

National prevalence figures

For a breakdown of prevalence figures by nation, please visit ourdiabetes prevalencepage. Please see below for a graph charting trends in prevalence for serious conditions in England.

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