850,000 people in the UK could have diabetes without knowing it

Wed, 13 Jun 2012
The national charity Diabetes UK has warned that 850,000 adults in the UK could already have developed type 2 diabetes and be unaware they have the condition.

The news, released to coincide with Diabetes Week, showed that about 1 in 70 adults have diabetes without realising it, and that many are not having health checks that would help identify potential complications, including kidney failure, blindness, stroke and amputation.

The rapid rise in numbers of people suffering from type 2 diabetes is thought to be due to more people being overweight, as well as lack of exercise and poor diet. The charity is hoping more people will undergo health testing to see if they are at risk, especially as it is thought that the condition can go undetected for up to a decade and that half of those involved will already be showing signs of complications before they are diagnosed.

The chief executive of the charity, Barbara Young, said "These figures show that every time we walk down our local high street, we are likely to be walking past people who have undiagnosed type 2 diabetes."

She added "This is a real concern because it is only by getting the condition diagnosed early that people can start getting the treatment they need to prevent serious health complications."
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