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Figures show one in three on cusp of diabetes

10th June 2014


A recent report, in the British Medical Journal, highlights a rapid increase in the number of people with pre-diabetes in the last decade.

diabetes1The researchers analysed data from the Health Survey for England between 2003 and 2011. 11.6% of adults in 2003 were diagnosed with pre-diabetes - this figure trebled by 2011.

About pre-diabetes

If a person has pre-diabetes they have no symptoms of ill health but their blood sugars are very high and in danger of developing the disease.

According to the research, between 5% and 10% of people with pre-diabetes go on to develop type-2 diabetes each year.


What next?


The authors of the study predict this surge will continue in the coming years and have an impact on national life expectancy and the proportion of adults who are disabled.

Currently, 3.2 million people in the UK have type-2 diabetes and the charity Diabetes UK estimates that figure will rise to 5 million by 2025.


One of the study authors, Prof Richard Baker from the University of Leicester, said the health service was already checking people over the age of 40 but he argued more could be done.

One suggestion was: "[E]ither more regulation or getting the food industry to compete more on the healthiness of their products."

Diabetes UK’s chief executive Barbara Young said: "Unless we make people aware of their risk of type-2 diabetes and support them in changing their lifestyles, we could see an even greater increase in the number of people with the condition than we are already expecting.

"A tenth of the NHS budget is already being spent on diabetes and unless we get much better at preventing type-2 diabetes this spending will soon rise to unsustainable levels."

"Up to 80% of cases of type-2 diabetes could be avoided or delayed".

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