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Type 2 diabetes more common than previously thought

New figures have revealed that there could be more than a million people in the UK suffering from undiagnosed type 2 diabetes, double the number previously thought to have the metabolic condition. A rise in levels of obesity, combined with increasingly unhealthy lifestyles, have been blamed on this alarming statistic.
About four years ago, it was estimated that there were about half a million people in the country that were unaware they had type 2 diabetes. However, new data from the Diabetes Health Intelligence suggests there are 820,000 adults in England who have undiagnosed diabetes, with the number across the UK likely to be around 1.1 million. The charity Diabetes UK has also said that the number of people suffering from both types of diabetes could rise to 5.5 million by 2030.
With diabetics at a higher risk of contracting strokes, heart disease, kidney failure, leg amputation and blindness, the concern is that type 2 diabetes can be undetected for over a decade, with about half of people showing signs of complications by the time they are diagnosed.
Douglas Smallwood, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said “Avoidable in so many cases, the Type 2 diabetes epidemic is a clear example of where the new government’s rhetoric of tackling health problems through prevention must be turned into action. Failure to act now means a bleak future of spiralling NHS costs and worsening public health.”

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