Diabetes is becoming a “national health emergency” in the UK with more than 700 people a day being diagnosed with diabetes in the UK.
New analysis by Diabetes UK and its partner supermarket giant Tesco, based on National Diabetes Audit data, shows that 738 people a day are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, which has being overweight as the biggest risk factor. A further 30 people per day are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, which tends to affect younger people and is not linked to weight.
The charity claims that these figures mean there are more than 280,000 people a year diagnosed with diabetes, “the equivalent of the population of Newcastle”. This is much higher than previously thought and illustrates the rise in diabetes, with 3.8 million people in the UK now having the condition and more than 18 million people ythough to have pre-diabetes.
Diabetes UK says it would like to see everyone aged 40 to 74 get an NHS Health Check and called for “greater investment in ensuring those people identified at high risk get the support they need to help prevent it”. Chief executive Barbara Young said the “deeply worrying” analysis “clearly shows the frightening scale of what is fast becoming a national health emergency”.
She added that “if we continue to see people being diagnosed at this rate then the consequences will be disastrous”. Baroness Young went on to say that “we are likely to see even more people endure devastating health complications such as amputation and kidney failure and more people die tragically young. It would also lead to an increase in NHS costs that would be simply unsustainable”.
She concluded by saying that “as a country, we are still not giving diabetes healthcare the priority it needs and we also need to get much better at preventing type 2 diabetes before it is too late”.
Diabetes UK and Tesco also announced that their partnership is being extended until the end of 2014, noting that it has raised £12 million since March 2013.