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England is the group winner for diabetes this World Cup

As the 2010 FIFA World Cup kicks off, leading health charity Diabetes UK today reveals that England has the lowest percentage of people with diabetes at 3.6 per cent (2.14 million people), compared to the USA, Slovenia and Algeria, the other countries in its group.

The USA came bottom with 10.3 per cent (26,813,000) of its population with diabetes, while Algeria follows with 8.5 % (1,632,000) and Slovenia comes second with 7.7 per cent (153,000). 

One of the biggest health challenges 

Douglas Smallwood, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said: “This is an exciting time for football fans and Diabetes UK is rooting for England all the way. As the World Cup coincides with Diabetes Week (13–19 June), we thought it would be interesting to see how England’s diabetes population compared to the other countries in its group. Although we come out top with the smallest percentage of people with diabetes in the overall population, diabetes is one of the biggest health challenge facing the country today.

“Diabetes is a serious condition and, if untreated, can lead to devastating complications including heart disease, stroke and blindness. Type 2 diabetes can be undetected for 10 years or more, meaning 50 per cent of people already have complications by the time they are diagnosed. Furthermore, diabetes is a huge strain on the NHS, which spends £1 million an hour (or £9 billion a year) treating the condition.

Healthy lifestyle

“Diabetes UK urges people to adopt a healthy lifestyle and take regular physical activity to cut their risk of developing the condition as having a large waist means you are up to 12 times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes. We can fight this health epidemic now - and this is the first step in the right direction.”

Other risk factors for Type 2 diabetes include being over 40 years old, being of Black or South Asian origin and having a family history of the condition.

- All figures from the IDF Diabetes Atlas

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