Strokes and heart attacks are set to soar in the next 20 years as rates of diabetes continue to increase, a charity warns.
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) has found that the number of people in England living with diabetes is set to rise by 1 million by 2035 - which will be largely driven by increasing rates of obesity. This is projected to lead to a 29% increase in heart attacks and strokes.
‘The increase in the number of diabetics with serious health problems is likely to put an unprecedented burden on the NHS,’ a spokesperson for the BHF warned.
Public Health England (PHE) predict that if current trends continue there will be a total of 5 million people living with diabetes by 2035 in England alone.
‘Today’s figures point to an extremely worrying trend,’ says Simon Gillespie, BHF’s chief executive.
‘People with diabetes are at an increased risk of developing heart and circulatory diseases, and the expected surge in type 2 diabetes cases by 2035 could put thousands more people at risk of a deadly heart attack or stroke.’
Diabetes affects around one in 11 adults worldwide and increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, blindness and kidney failure - both type 1 and 2 of diabetes can lead to chronically high blood sugar levels.
BHF estimate that 39,000 people living with diabetes will suffer a heart attack by 2035 – a rise of 9000 compared with 2015. It is also likely that there will be more cases of related health conditions, including angina and heart failure.
‘There needs to be more consideration of further regulatory action to reduce sugar and fat content in food and to curb junk food advertising directed at young children,’ added Mr Gillespie.
‘The food industry is not acting quickly enough to re-formulate its products. Despite mounting evidence of their impact on the nation’s health.’
The warning by the BHF follows the release of figures last week showing an increase in children and young people being treated for type 2 diabetes in England and Wales - the number rose from 507 to 715 in 4 years.