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Warning of a diabetes 'epidemic'

20th October 2008

Diabetes UK have said that the number of people who have diabetes in the UK has risen by over 167,000 since 2007 to nearly 2.5 million.

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The charity said the increase was over double the amount recorded for 2006/07 and said the public needed more information about the condition.

The new data revealed that there were 5 million obese people registered in the UK - a rise of 200,000 since 2007.

The information came from the 2007/08 Quality and Outcomes framework (QOF) for England via The Information Centre for Health and Social Care, for Scotland by The Information Services Division, and for Northern Ireland by the Department of Health, Social Services Public Safety.

There were a record number of people diagnosed with diabetes registered in England, at over 2 million (a rise of 6.4%).

The biggest increase was seen in Scotland (16.9%) although this was most likely because of better records being taken. 200,669 people were registered with the condition in comparison to 171,513 for 2007.

90% of people with the condition have type 2 diabetes, which is connected to weight, lack of exercise and the consumption of junk food.

Douglas Smallwood, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: “These are truly alarming figures...there is no getting away from the fact that this large increase is linked to the obesity crisis."

“Diabetes is one of the biggest health challenges facing the UK today. It causes heart disease, stroke, amputations, kidney failure and blindness, and more deaths than breast and prostate cancer combined."

Diabetes UK warned that over 500,000 people in the UK had type 2 diabetes but did not know they had the condition.

 

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