Diabetes rates are on the rise in Northern Ireland, with new figures showing that the number of people living with the disease has climbed 33 per cent over the past five years.
The data shows that the total number of adults with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes registered with GPs stood at 56,924 in 2007. But since then doctors have seen a near-20,000 increase in diabetic patient numbers, taking the overall figure to 75,837.
The 33 per cent hike compares with a rise of 25 per cent in England, 20 per cent in Wales and 18 per cent in Scotland over the same 5-year period.
Iain Foster, National Director of Diabetes UK Northern Ireland, said the statistics were “very worrying” and stressed the importance of taking “urgent steps” to ensure they don’t escalate further.
“Diabetes is a rising challenge within our health service and it is vital that an effective strategy is put in place to ensure we do not see a similar increase in the next five years,” he added.
According to Diabetes UK, the number of people diagnosed with diabetes across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland has jumped from 1.4 million to around 2.9 million over the past 16 years, and it is estimated that this figure will top five million by 2025.

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