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UK diabetes rises 60% in the last decade… where will we be in 10 years?

By Rachel O'Regan |


Keys2words - UK diabetes rises 60% in the last decade… where will we be in 10 years?

  • According to , diabetes rates have increased by 60 per cent in the last decade.
  • Diabetes costs the National Health Service (NHS) nearly £10 billion a year.
  • Type 2 diabetes (which constitutes 90 per cent of the statistic) is largely preventable through a healthy, low-sugar diet.

Ten years is not a long amount of time for diabetes rates to soar by 60 per cent, but there you have it. According to a new analysis by , diagnoses have increased by 1.2 million adults since 2005. That’s the size of a small country.

With diabetes costing the NHS nearly £10 billion a year – and 80 per cent of those costs are spent on managing unavoidable complications – Diabetes UK is calling for the government to do something, anything to help patients receive quality care.

“Over the past decade, the number of people living with diabetes in the UK has increased by over 1 million people, which is the equivalent of the population of a small country such as Cyprus,” said Barbara Young, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK.

What we find more pressing is 90 per cent of cases are type 2 diabetes (as opposed to type 1, an unpreventable autoimmune disease). is proving that, in many cases, type 2 is preventable through a healthy, low-sugar diet. Case in point: a study of more than 90,000 women over eight years found those who had just one serving a day of sugar-sweetened drinks had 26 per cent greater risk of .

The analysis can’t even take into account some 590,000 adults in the UK estimated to have undiagnosed diabetes in 2013-2014. We have to beg the question – if diabetes rates are increasing so rapidly, where will we be 10 years? If this doesn’t light a fire under the UK government to take action on sugar, we don’t know what will.

Is diabetes the most worrying illness of the last decade? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Please be respectful of other participants in the conversation. We'd love you to keep your comments respectful, friendly and relevant. Differences of opinion are welcome, but trolling and abuse of other commentators and the IQS editorial team is not and will result in blacklisting.

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