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Diabetes numbers increase across the East Midlands

Photo: PA

One in 14 people across the East Midlands now has type 2 diabetes, new figures have revealed.

Latest statistics compiled by NHS Digital show the number of people in the region with the condition rose from 212,093 in March 2011 to 264,358 in March 2016 which is an increase of 24.6 per cent in five years.

During the past 12 months, figures show that 9,747 people have been diagnosed – an increase of 3.8 per cent.

That means 6.95 per cent of the region’s population has diabetes. The vast majority of people (90 per cent) have Type 2 diabetes which is linked to lifestyle.

The vast majority of people (90 per cent) have Type 2 diabetes which is linked to lifestyle. Credit: PA

The figures have been released ahead of Diabetes Prevention Week, organised by the East Midlands Cardiovascular Clinical Network. It has been developed to raise awareness of Type 2 diabetes and increase referral numbers onto the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, which is being rolled out nationally.

As part of the campaign, diabetes charity Silver Star is participating in a Diabetes Prevention Roadshow, which will see mobile diabetes units being stationed in various locations around the region.

This will give members of the public the opportunity to find out what their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes is. If deemed high, they will be referred straight onto the programme.

Type 2 diabetes is one of the UK’s biggest health challenges – there are currently 4.5 million people in the UK who have diabetes, mainly Type 2, but that could rise to five million if the problem is not tackled, Public Health England recently said.

Credit: PA

However, it is hoped the national Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme will help reduce the current increase in people with diabetes. Since it started in the East Midlands in July 2016 more than 2,000 people have been referred onto the educational programme where participants receive tailored support to help them make positive changes to their diet, weight and the amount of physical activity they do to significantly reduce the risk of, or even stop them from developing Type 2 diabetes.

Martin Cassidy, Quality Improvement Manager, East Midlands Cardiovascular Clinical Network and lead coordinator for the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme in the East Midlands, said:

“The fact that Type 2 figures have increased in the East Midlands comes as no surprise as we already know the condition has become a major and worrying health concern. The Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, which is gradually being rolled out across the country, has been implemented to help those who are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. It is essential we start to tackle the diabetes ticking time bomb before it’s too late. The NHS is already struggling to cope with treating the condition and the complications it can create if not managed correctly.”

– Martin Cassidy, Quality Improvement Manager, East Midlands Cardiovascular Clinical Network.