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Advice for people with diabetes and their families

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Diabetes statistics

More people than ever have diabetes. More people than ever are at risk of type 2 diabetes. If nothing changes, we predict that 5.5 million people will have diabetes in the UK by 2030. 

Around 90% of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. Around 8% of people with diabetes have type 1 diabetes. About 2% of people with diabetes have rarer types of diabetes.

We’re fighting for a world where diabetes can do no harm.

We do it by campaigning to make sure everyone with diabetes gets the care they need to live well with diabetes. We provide advice and support so people can get to grips with their condition. And our research increases what we know about diabetes, discovers new treatments and will, one day, find a cure.

Diabetes facts and figures

  • More than 4.9 million people in the UK have diabetes
  • 13.6 million people are now at increased risk of type 2 diabetes in the UK
  • You're more at risk of type 2 diabetes if you have a close family member who has diabetes
  • 850,000 people are currently living with type 2 diabetes but are yet to be diagnosed
  • Research has consistently shown that for some people, combined lifestyle interventions - including diet, physical activity and sustained weight loss - can be effective in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes by about 50%.

Diabetes complications

Early diagnosis is vital. Complications can begin five to six years before some people actually find out they have type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes leads to almost 9600 leg, toe or foot amputations every year. That's 185 a week

Diabetes is one of the leading causes of preventable sight loss in the UK - More than 1,700 people have their sight seriously affected by their diabetes every year in the UK. That's more than 30 people every week

More than 700 people with diabetes die prematurely every week

One in six people in a hospital bed has diabetes, and people with diabetes are twice as likely to be admitted to hospital

People with diabetes are twice as likely to suffer from depression. And are more likely to be depressed for longer and more frequently.

Diabetes and the NHS

The NHS spends at least £10 billion a year on diabetes which is about 10% of its entire budget

Almost 80% of the money the NHS spends on diabetes is on treating complications

In some hospitals over a quarter of beds are used by people with diabetes

In 2019/20 there were 57.7m items prescribed for people with diabetes, this increased from 35.5m prescription items 10 years earlier

People with diabetes are twice as likely to be admitted to hospital

Diabetes and ethnicity

In the 17/18 NDA, people recorded as black were twice as likely to be under the age of 50 than those recorded as white, people with type 2 diabetes recorded as Asian were 2 and half times more likely to be under the age of 50 than those recorded as white

Consistently, black African-Caribbean populations have been reported to exhibit pronounced insulin resistance and higher rates of hypertension compared to other ethnic groups even in the absence of abdominal obesity.

People from black ethnic groups are more likely to have undiagnosed diabetes than people from white British backgrounds.

South Asians are at risk of diabetes at a lower BMI, and develop diabetes 5-10 years earlier than White Europeans, which means it’s important for healthcare professionals to be screening for diabetes in South Asians from the age of 25.

Annual diabetes prevalence figures

National Diabetes Audit

Tackling the crisis

Our Tackling the Crisis 2019 (England) (PDF, 13.681KB) document sets out the latest diabetes statistics and our recommendations for improvement in prioritised areas of diabetes care and type 2 prevention.

Diabetes workforce in figures

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