One person is diagnosed with diabetes every three minutes in the UK, according to new figures from Diabetes UK. The charity reports that the number of people diagnosed with the condition is growing faster than ever.
Diabetes UK looked in detail at official figures and found that almost 150,000 people were diagnosed with diabetes in 2008. In the previous year this number was 100,000.
The majority of people are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes which is mostly linked to lifestyle issues such as poor diet and lack of physical activity.
Douglas Smallwood, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said: “This week 75 years ago, Diabetes UK was created and although we continue to work tirelessly to improve people’s health, diabetes remains one of the biggest health challenges of our time. We must protect the health of the nation by taking urgent steps to further raise awareness of diabetes and its complications.
“Diabetes UK wants the Government to put diabetes at the top of the health agenda in 2009. People need to be supported to make changes to their lifestyle, such as eating healthily, losing weight if appropriate and being physically active, in order to reduce their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
"We also need to make sure that anyone diagnosed with the condition has access to the best possible care, information and support in order to reduce their risk of developing the serious complications of the condition.”
2009 is Diabetes UK’s 75th anniversary and the charity wants to use this special year as an opportunity to further raise awareness.