UK faces diabetes ‘tipping point’ with a million more people at risk, warns charity

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A charity has warned that by 2030, nearly one in 10 people in the UK will be living with diabetes – the equivalent of 5.5 million people.

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Diabetes UK said the massive increase in those affected meant that millions more would be at risk of “catastrophic complications”, including heart attack, kidney failure, stroke, amputation and blindness.

The charity’s chief executive, Chris Askew, said the country was “at the peak of a public health emergency” and needed action “to stop it in its tracks”.


Unless something is done to stop the increase in cases, Diabetes UK estimates that there could be more than 87,000 hospitalizations a year in England by 2030.

This will be an increase of 14 per cent from 2020-21 and will be 50 per cent higher than the 2006-07 figure.

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The data is based on the diabetes prevalence projection model from Public Health England and the Association of Public Health Observatories.

Additional analysis from Diabetes UK also suggests that one in three UK adults – more than 17 million people – could be at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 2030.

The charity is calling for action on several fronts, including enrolling more people in the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme.

The program aims to help people reach a healthy weight, learn to eat better and make regular exercise a part of life.

Diabetes UK also wants people who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes to go into remission, where possible, through measures such as weight loss advice or gastric band surgery.

It also seeks to expand access to weight loss programs and assure that people with all types of diabetes will get their regular NHS checkups to reduce the risk of complications.

At the moment, around 4.1 million people in the UK are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes or type 2, which is largely associated with obesity and can also be influenced by age, ethnic background and family history.

It is thought that a further 850,000 people are living with type 2 diabetes but do not know it.

Mr Askew said: “Every diagnosis of diabetes is life changing.

“The relentlessness of the situation, and the current fear of serious and life-altering complications, is a lifelong reality for millions of families across the UK.

“It is a serious thought that, if we do not take action today, hundreds of thousands of people will be faced with the life-changing news that they have type 2 diabetes.

“We are at the peak of a public health emergency and action is needed today to stop it in its tracks.

“It doesn’t have to be this way – we know that with the right care and support, complications of diabetes can be avoided and cases of type 2 diabetes can be kept in remission, or even prevented altogether. .

“We don’t want our prediction to become a reality. We need to see the government’s willingness, grit and determination to stop this crisis in its tracks, and improve the future health of our country for generations to come.” Is.”

Diabetes UK has launched a new TV campaign, This Is Diabetes, featuring families living with the condition across the UK.

Professor Jonathan Vallabhji, the National Clinical Director of Diabetes and Obesity at NHS England, said: “Diabetes can have a significant impact on people’s lives, with high risk of heart attacks, strokes, organ loss, many common forms of cancer and more. There are risks with COVID-19 with serious consequences – but, thanks to better NHS treatment and care, the outlook for people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes has improved significantly over the past few decades.

“As part of its long-term plan, the NHS is already providing the world’s largest type 2 diabetes prevention program to help people reduce their risk of developing the condition, as well as those who the use of a low-calorie diet to be administered in those who have recently achieved a remission diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.”

Additional reporting by agencies


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