According to the latest statistics by Diabetes UK, 4.8 million individuals may be living with diabetes in the UK. With numbers increasing steadily, the figure is expected to reach 5.3 million by 2025.
Currently, 3.9 million individuals are living with a diagnosis of diabetes in the UK, of which 90 per cent have type 2 diabetes. It is estimated that there are around a million more individuals who have undiagnosed type 2 diabetes, bringing the total figure to more than 4.8 million. The data also show that the number of individuals living with a diagnosis of diabetes has increased by >100,000 since the last year. Furthermore, individuals with type 2 diabetes have a 50 per cent higher risk of premature mortality.
Obesity is the biggest risk factor for diabetes, accounting for 80-85 per cent of a person's risk of developing the condition. The prevalence of obesity in England has increased from 6.9 to 13 million in the past 20 years. Diabetes UK has urged the government to prioritise the fight against childhood obesity and focus on prevention of diabetes complications.
Chris Askew, Chief Executive at Diabetes UK, said: "Type 2 diabetes is an urgent public health crisis, and solving it depends on decisive action that’s led by government, supported by industry and delivered across our society."