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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 October, 2004, 23:29 GMT 00:29 UK
Sharp increase in diabetes cases
Obesity
Diabetes is closely linked to obesity
The number of people with diabetes in the UK has jumped to 1.8m, latest figures show.

Diabetes UK says this is an increase of 400,000 in just eight years, and represents 3% of the total population.

The charity predicts numbers will continue to rise as the population ages and becomes more overweight.

Around 10m a day - 5% of the NHS budget - is currently spent on treating diabetes and its effects. That is predicted to rise to 10% by 2011.

Of the 1.8m, almost 250,000 people have Type 1 diabetes and just over 1.5 million have Type 2 diabetes.

It is estimated that there are up to a million who have Type 2 diabetes but have not been diagnosed yet.

BENEFITS OF TREATMENT
Effectively controlled Type 2 diabetes can reduce the risk of:
Heart disease by 44%
Stroke - 46%
Kidney disease - 33%
Eye disease - 33%

Effectively controlled Type 1 diabetes can reduce the risk of:
New eye disease - 76%
Worsening of existing eye disease - 54%
Early kidney disease - 54%
More serious kidney problems - 39%
Nerve damage - 60%
Douglas Smallwood, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: "The number of people with diabetes is increasing at an alarming rate.

"This will continue to place a growing strain on local NHS services.

"The challenge now is to ensure that all people with diabetes are diagnosed early and treated effectively."

Mr Smallwood said many of the worst effects of diabetes can be avoided - but if the condition is not picked up it can lead to heart attacks, kidney and eyesight problems.

However, Dr Graham Archard, RCGP spokesperson, said: "It is clear that diabetes and the related problem of obesity is now a major health concern in the UK and it looks like its only going to get worse before it gets better."

DIABETES
Life expectancy is reduced on average by 20 years in those with Type 1 diabetes and up to ten years in Type 2 diabetes.
By the time they are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, 50 per cent of people have evidence of complications.
In the UK people with diabetes spend 1.1 million days in hospital every year.
80% of people with diabetes will die from cardiovascular disease.
People with diabetes are two to three times more likely to have a stroke compared to those without the condition.
Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in people of working age in the UK.
Dr Sue Roberts, National Clinical Director for Diabetes, said the government had published a national service framework to try to ensure that people with the condition got the best possible care.

She said: "The creation of the National Diabetes Support Team to provide help and support to local service in implementing the NSF demonstrates the importance attached to diabetes."

The National Service Framework for Diabetes for England was launched in January 2003 and came into effect in April 2003.

It sets out a 10-year programme of change to deliver improved care for people with diabetes. Responsibility for delivering the change lies mainly with the local NHS.

However, Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said the latest report was "further evidence" of the government's failure to address key public health issues.

He said: "It is leading to an increase in disease and consequent demands on the NHS."

Diabetes affects 5% of the world's population and its prevalence is doubling every generation.

The risk of developing Type 2 diabetes increases by up to 10 times in people who are obese. Britain has the fastest growing rate of obesity in the developed world.

Type 1 diabetes - also known as insulin-dependent or immune-mediated diabetes - is a disease that destroys the cells in the pancreas that produce the hormone insulin.

Type 2 sufferers do not make enough insulin, or are unable to make proper use of it.




SEE ALSO:
Diabetes
09 Feb 99  |  Medical notes
Children with diabetes 'at risk'
22 Sep 04  |  Health
Diabetics 'must test blood more'
20 Sep 04  |  Health


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