The number of people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK will reach 5 million by 2025 unless more is done to prevent cases of type 2 diabetes, experts have warned.
Latest forecasts from the charity Diabetes UK show that rates of diabetes will rise from approximately 3.8 million to 5 million – twice the number recorded in 2008 – over the next 12 years .
The projected increase has stoked fears that the nation is heading towards a public health disaster, with not enough being done to tackle type 2 diabetes, which accounts for most diabetes cases and people failing to take the disease seriously, the charity said.
New research commissioned by Diabetes UK found that less than a third (30%) of people are aware that type 2 diabetes can lead to serious health complications such as heart attack, stroke, blindness and amputation.
In addition, just 13% of the 1,000 people who participated in the ICM Research survey knew that the condition increases the risk of death, despite the fact that type 2 diabetes sufferers are some 36% more likely to die in any given year than non-sufferers of the same age.
To highlight the seriousness of type 2 diabetes and its complications and encourage people to find out their diabetes risk or make the necessary lifestyle changes to help prevent it, Diabetes UK has today launched the country’s biggest ever diabetes advertising campaign.
Funded as part of Diabetes UK’s National Charity Partnership with Tesco, the £2 million campaign aims to raise awareness of the risk factors of type 2 diabetes and will urge people to have their risk assessed online, at a pharmacy, or at their GP practice, if any of these risk factors apply to them. The campaign will run from today (Monday 23rd September) to October 6.
Barbara Young, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said: “This survey makes it clear that most people do not understand the potential consequences of developing it and I worry that until we finally lay to rest the myth that Type 2 diabetes is a mild condition, it will continue to be seen as something that is not worth being concerned about.
“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.
“But the good news is that developing Type 2 diabetes is not just a question of fate. By doing relatively simple things like losing some weight, eating more fruits and vegetables and becoming more active, we can all significantly reduce our risk, even if our ethnicity or family history has put our risk at a higher starting point.
“This is why I hope our advertising campaign will help people realise why it is so important that they understand their own risk of Type 2 and making lifestyle changes if they are one of the 7 million of us who are at high risk.”

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