Diabetes timebomb warning over doubling in cases in two decades

Diabetes timebomb warning over doubling in cases in two decades


Forecasts from the charity Diabetes UK warn that 5 million people are expected to develop the disease by 2025 - twice the number recorded just five years ago. The vast majority of sufferers have Type 2 diabetes, which is linked to obesity, poor diet and sedentary lifestyles.The charity said the NHS was already under “huge strain” with 10 per cent of its budget now spent on treating the disease.


More than 70,000 deaths a year occur among those suffering from the condition - one in seven of all deaths. Patients with Type 2 diabetes are 36 per cent more likely to die in any given year than those of the same age without the condion.


An ICM poll of 1,000 people for Diabetes UK found that just 13 per cent of people were aware that the condition increased the risk of death. Less than one in three were aware of other major complications of the disease, which can cause blindness, amputations, heart attacks and strokes. Around 85 per cent of diabetes sufferers have Type 2, which can be helped by exercise and an improved diet. Such patient do not produce enough insulin or the insulin they produce does not work properly.


Experts believe the vast majority of such cases could be prevented by a healthy lifestyle. Those with Type 1 diabetes, which is not triggered by obesity, cannot produce any insulin. The charity is launching a campaign to highlight the risk factors of Type 2 diabetes, which include: being overweight, having a waist of over 37 inches in the case of men, or 31.5 inches in the case of women; having a close relative with diabetes; being over 40 (or over 25 for South Asian people.)


Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: “You only have to spend five minutes talking to someone who has lost their sight or has lost a leg as a result of Type 2 diabetes to realise the devastating impact the condition can have.” She said most people were unaware of how serious the condition could become. “This is a misconception that is wrecking lives and is the reason that as a country we are sleepwalking towards a public health disaster of an almost unimaginable scale,” she said.

By Laura Donnelly 

The Telegraph, 22 September, 2013

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