Diabetes UK

New research shows 235,000 have been diagnosed with diabetes in UK in the last year

by Barbara Hewitt on June 14, 2016

Some 235,000 people have been diagnosed with diabetes in the last year in the UK, a leading charity has announced to mark the annual Diabetes Week to raise awareness of the condition.

Diabetes UK is highlighting the scale of what it calls a “diabetes epidemic”, forecasting that by the end of Diabetes Week 4,500 people will have been diagnosed with the life changing condition.

New research released by the charity shows there is still a lack of understanding surrounding diabetes, with many people not recognising the seriousness of the condition. A recent survey of 1,491 British adults found that 53% of people are unaware that poorly managed diabetes can lead to often devastating complications such as heart attack and strokes.

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The poll also found that one in three people, when asked, thought that it was true that type 1 diabetes was linked to being overweight, when in fact it is not linked to lifestyle whatsoever and there is nothing that can be done to prevent it.

The charity is concerned that confusions such as this could lead to people making false assumptions about the condition and are calling on everyone to become diabetes aware by urging them to take some time this week to learn about the signs and symptoms, especially when type 2 diabetes can take up to 10 years to be diagnosed, unlike type 1 where symptoms tend to come on rapidly.

“This Diabetes Week we are setting the record straight and focusing on the realities of living with the condition. There is still a lack of understanding when it comes to people being aware of the seriousness of diabetes and this worries us at Diabetes UK,” said Chris Askew, chief executive of Diabetes UK.

“There are over four million people living with the condition in the UK. The fact that 4,500 people will discover they have diabetes over the next seven days is deeply concerning, and highlights the current scale of the crisis,” he pointed out.

Despite the stark warning, the charity is also using the week to share many stories from people living with diabetes but who do not let the condition hold them back.

“Diabetes Week is a time to share our concerns about the scale and seriousness of diabetes, but it is also a fantastic opportunity to highlight that with the right healthcare, support and management, diabetes doesn’t have to hold anyone back,” Askew explained.

High profile supporters are backing the week, including television soap Eastenders star Jonny Labey who has type 1 diabetes and television cooks the Hairy Bikers, as well as singer and stage star Alexandra Burke.

Alexandra understands more than most how the condition can be misunderstood. Her mother has type 2 diabetes and is on kidney dialysis as a result of her condition. “The biggest misconception I feel people have around type 2 diabetes is that it can just be left and not treated,” she said.

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