UK Diabetes cases soar by 100,000 in the last year

Tue, 03 Oct 2006
The diabetes and obesity epidemics are inextricably linked, and both show no signs of decreasing. Fresh research indicates that 100,000 new cases of diabetes have been diagnosed in the past year.

The number of diagnosed cases of diabetes in the UK has climbed from 1,766,000 to over 1,890,000, an increase from 3.3 per cent of the population of the UK to 3.6 per cent. Furthermore, a vast number of people (thought to be around 750,000) have the condition but are unaware of it.

According to leading diabetes charity Diabetes UK, the problem is getting worse. Douglas Smallwood, the chief executive, said: "The problem is that people can have diabetes for years and well over half of people diagnosed have already developed a complication. These can range from problems with circulation which can lead to amputation, the kidneys or eyesight ."

He pointed the finger at three key factors involved in the increase. Obesity was foremost, increased awareness due to campaigns a second, and GPs having better incentives to act on patient risk factors the third factor. As Mr. Smallwood said: "It is absolutely essential to diagnose diabetes at the earliest possible stage to avoid the serious side effects."
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