The latest figures from Diabetes UK indicate that there are now 4.7 million individuals in the UK living with all types of diabetes.
The data show that there are 3.8 million individuals with a confirmed diagnosis of diabetes in the United Kingdom, 90 per cent of which are type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) cases. Additionally, there may be nearly a million individuals with T2DM who are unaware of their condition, thus bringing the total estimate to 4.7 million. This figure is expected to rise to 5.5 million by 2030.
Increasing rates of obesity could be the key driver behind the rise in T2DM cases, as it is the single biggest risk factor of developing the condition. Age, family history and ethnicity are other risk factors. African-Caribbean, Black-African or South Asian ethnicities have a two to four times higher likelihood of developing T2DM compared with white ethnicity.
Diabetes UK is urging all individuals above 40 years of age to undergo an NHS Health Check and to use the free 'Know Your Risk online tool' to determine their risk of developing T2DM.