One in ten people over 40 in the UK is now living with a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes, according to new analysis released by Diabetes UK. The new figures show that there are 3.8 million people living with a diagnosis of diabetes in the UK, and 90% of those with Type 2.
The dramatic increase in obesity rates is the main driver behind so many more people living with Type 2 diabetes in the UK. Three in five adults in England are overweight or obese, and while not every case of Type 2 diabetes is caused by excessive weight, it is the single greatest risk factor for developing the condition. Age, family history, and ethnicity can also contribute to someone’s risk, with people of African-Caribbean, Black African, or South Asian descent two to four times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than white people. Many cases of Type 2 diabetes could be prevented or delayed by healthy eating, being more active, and losing weight if overweight.
With 12.3 million people at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, the charity wants to raise awareness of the risk factors so that people can take steps to look after their health and prevent or delay the onset of the condition and its serious complications. It therefore recommends that everyone use the free Know Your Risk online tool to find out their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, and urges people aged 40 or over to take up a free NHS health check.
Chris Askew, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said: “Millions of Type 2 diabetes cases could be prevented if we help people understand their risk and how to reduce it. Even though the older people get the more likely they are to have Type 2 diabetes, it is never too early to know your risk so that you can make changes to prevent or delay it. We urge people over 40 to get an NHS Health Check and we advise everyone to find out their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes with the Know your Risk tool.”
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