Almost 50,000 more people will have diabetes in Wales by 2035 if trend continues

There will be an additional 48,000 people with diabetes in Wales by 2035 if current patterns continue.

According to a new report by Public Health Wales, around one in eleven Welsh people could be living with diabetes within the next 12 years.

It would mean additional pressure on health services, with NHS spending on drugs for diabetes already at £105 million in Wales last year.

New analysis by Public Health Wales show that more than 200,000 people in Wales are already living with diabetes, that's eight percent of adults.

Around 90 per cent of these cases have type 2 diabetes, over half of which could be prevented or delayed with behaviour changes.

Last summer, Darren Rix, 50, was told he had pre-diabetes at a routine eye appointment.

"It was a shock, absolute shock, because it wasn't something I went to be tested for, it's something I would never think of being tested for. So I felt really sunken in the chair when the nurse actually told me (I had) pre-diabetes and she told me how serious pre-diabetes is," he told ITV Cymru Wales.

After being referred to the All Wales Diabetes Prevention Programme, Darren was given dietary advice and encouraged to take up more exercise.

He said: "I could see now the amount of junk I was eating which wasn't good. Junk food in small moderation, not so often, that's fine because that works out as a little treat. But obviously we need to come away from quick fast foods and actually making healthier foods."

Within a year, the 50 year-old was able to completely reverse his diagnosis and with the changed lifestyle and diet he says he feels "absolutely brilliant."

Within a year, the 50 year-old was able to completely reverse his diagnosis. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

The Welsh Government has a 10-year plan to prevent and reduce obesity and has introduced a number of laws to restrict the promotion of unhealthy foods.

Dr Amrita Jesurasa, a Consultant in Public Health for Public Health Wales says there are things people can do themselves to reduce their chances of diabetes.

She said: "There are things that put people at higher risk, some of those things are things we can't change like our age, our ethnicity, whether we've got a relative who's got Type 2 diabetes."

But there are things we can take action on for example having a healthier weight, eating a healthier diet, being more physically active."

As well as the individual health benefits that come with avoiding diabetes, the condition is responsible for a significant amount of pressure on the NHS.

Dr Jesurasa said: "(Diabetes) is placing a lot of extra pressure on our NHS.

"We know that diabetes care accounts for around 10% of the NHS budget and as the numbers continue to increase that's only going to increase that financial pressure as well."

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