Two million people in England are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a record high, NHS figures have shown.
The data shows there are 1,969,610 people registered with a GP who have non-diabetic hyperglycaemia, a condition which puts people at high risk of Type 2, which is the highest on record. According to NHS England, the scale of the problem is likely to be even greater as the growing obesity crisis is exposing millions more to the condition.
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‘Our bulging waistlines mean two million people are now at risk of joining the expanding ranks of those living with largely preventable Type 2 diabetes,’ said NHS chief executive, Sir Simon Stevens.
‘The NHS’s highly successful, world-leading diabetes prevention programme is helping hundreds of thousands of people take small common sense steps to get control of their own health. But unless many more of us make a change, obesity-related illnesses will end up costing hundreds of thousands more lives and billions of pounds in higher treatment costs.’
Read more: Ten things you should know about type 2 diabetes – Part 1
Around nine out of 10 people with diabetes have Type 2 and there were over a million obesity diagnoses in hospital admissions last year, 884,000 the year before. Projections show that the growing number of people with diabetes could result in nearly 39,000 extra people suffering a heart attack in 2035, over 50,000 experiencing a stroke, while one in six hospital beds now occupied with someone with diabetes.
‘The record number of people at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes demonstrates the need for urgent action to stop its rapid growth. More than half of all cases of type 2 diabetes − and the devastating complications it can lead to − could be prevented or delayed by supporting people to reduce their risk by losing weight where appropriate, eating healthy food and being more active,’ said Chris Askew, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK.
Read more: Ten things you should know about type 2 diabetes – Part 2
‘The NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, designed to help prevent type 2 diabetes in people at high risk of developing the condition, is currently reaching ambitious targets both for numbers undertaking the programme, and for the weight loss they achieve. This much awaited expansion is a great step towards the right direction. Piloting a low calorie weight management programme, making it possible to put the condition into remission, has the potential to completely transform the lives of those already living with a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.’