Each day, 738 people, which is equivalent to more than 280,000 people a year, are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in the United Kingdom, according to newly released data from the National Diabetes Audit. This number is much higher than previously thought and represents a "national health emergency," says the charity Diabetes UK.
This accounts for 96% of new cases of diabetes, it adds, noting that 30 people a day are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
There are 3.8 million people in the United Kingdom with type 2 diabetes, and just last month the charity said it has estimated around 35% of the population has prediabetes — it is therefore calling for much more focus on preventing type 2 diabetes.
It would like to see everyone aged 40 to 74 get a National Health Service (NHS) health check and is campaigning for diabetes to be given a higher priority, with more investment to ensure those people identified at high risk get the support they need to help prevent the condition from developing.
National Health Emergency
Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK, says: "It is deeply worrying that more than 700 people a day are being diagnosed with diabetes, and this clearly shows the frightening scale of what is fast becoming a national health emergency.
"If we continue to see people being diagnosed at this rate, the consequences will be disastrous. As the number of people with diabetes grows, we are likely to see even more people endure devastating health complications such as amputation and kidney failure and more people die tragically young. It would also lead to an increase in NHS costs that would be simply unsustainable," she notes in a statement.
"As a country, we are still not giving diabetes healthcare the priority it needs, and we also need to get much better at preventing type 2 diabetes before it is too late," she concludes.