06 March 2013
The number of people in the UK who have been diagnosed with diabetes has reached three million for the first time, says charity Diabetes UK.
Most of the cases, equivalent to 4.6 per cent of the UK population, are Type 2 diabetes, caused by the UK's ageing population and rapidly rising numbers of overweight and obese people.
The figure is an increase of 132,000 on the previous year. A further 850,000 people are also thought to have undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes UK is warning this new high could create a huge burden on the NHS and implications for public health.
The charity said that every year in England and Wales, 24,000 people with diabetes die earlier than expected, a situation expected to get even worse without "urgent action".
Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK said, said the charity is "hugely concerned" that the number of people diagnosed with diabetes has reached three million.
"There is no reason to think this will mark the end of what has been a rapid rise in the condition," she added.
"Instead, all the projections suggest that the three million figure will be a grim staging post on the road towards a public health emergency. This unfolding tragedy is already putting huge pressure on the NHS and will have potentially devastating consequences for those people who develop the condition."
Posted by Edward Bartel
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