1 in 10 aged over 40 in the UK has type 2 diabetes, with 5.5 million people predicted to be living with diabetes by 2030.
Our new analysis released today shows that the number of people diagnosed with diabetes in Northern Ireland has increased from 92,480 to 96,114 since last year.
In the UK one in ten people over 40 is now living with a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. The new figures show that there are 3.8 million people living with a diagnosis of diabetes in the UK, and 90% of those with type 2.
There are almost 1 million more people living with type 2 diabetes, who don’t know they have it because they haven’t been diagnosed, bringing the total number up to 4.7 million. By 2030 it is predicted this number will rise to 5.5 million.
The dramatic increase in obesity rates is the main driver behind so many more people living with type 2 diabetes in the UK. While not every case of type 2 diabetes is caused by excessive weight, it is the single greatest risk factor for developing the condition. Age, family history, and ethnicity can also contribute to someone’s risk, with people of African-Caribbean, Black African, or South Asian descent two to four times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than white people.
Preventing or delaying type 2 diabetes
Many cases of type 2 diabetes could be prevented or delayed by healthy eating, being more active, and losing weight if overweight.
The symptoms, which involve going to the toilet a lot, being really thirsty, feeling more tired than usual and losing weight without trying, can be easy to miss especially in the early stages. The condition can go undetected for many years, and by the time they’re diagnosed one in three people already have complications with their eyes, feet, kidneys or nerves.
With 12.3 million people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, the charity wants to raise awareness of the risk factors so that people can take steps to look after their health and prevent or delay the onset of the condition and its serious complications.
We are recommending that everyone use our free Know Your Risk online tool to find out their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Jillian Patchett, National Director at Diabetes UK Northern Ireland, said:
“Thousands of type 2 diabetes cases could be prevented if we help people understand their risk and how to reduce it. Even though the older people get the more likely they are to have type 2 diabetes, it is never too early to know your risk so that you can make changes to prevent or delay it.
“The signs of type 2 diabetes are often not obvious, that’s why spotting them early can be life-changing. Early diagnosis means that fewer people will experience diabetes-related complications such as sight loss, amputation, kidney failure, stroke and heart disease, because they could seek support to manage their condition effectively as soon as possible.
“We urge everyone to find out their risk of developing type 2 diabetes with the Know your Risk tool.”
Find out more
Find out your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, with our Know Your Risk tool.
See more stats and facts about diabetes.