New figures suggest type 2 diabetes is increasing substantially in the UK

by Barbara Hewitt on March 4, 2019

New national figures show that there has been a dramatic increase in the number of people in the UK with type 2 diabetes and experts predict it set to keep rising.

One in 10 people aged over 40 now has type 2 diabetes and the number of people living with all types of diabetes has reached 4.7 million in the UK while the number is forecast to reach 5.5 million by 2030.

Type 2 Diabetes

(Yeexin Richelle/

A breakdown of the new figures from charity Diabetes UK shows that there are 3.8 million people diagnosed with diabetes, of which 90% have type 2 diabetes while there are almost a million more people living with type 2 diabetes who don’t know they have it because they haven’t been diagnosed.

The charity says that a dramatic increase in obesity rates is the main driver behind so many more people living with type 2 diabetes, with three in five adults in England overweight or obese.

It points out that 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 being two to four times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than white people.

It also points out that many cases of type 2 diabetes could be prevented or delayed by healthy eating, being more active and losing weight if overweight and the symptoms, which include 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 type 2 diabetes and its serious complications.

‘Millions 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,’ said Chris Askew, Diabetes UK chief executive.

‘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 people over 40 to get an NHS Health Check,’ he added.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the Community and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please see your doctor before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: