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ARWatch Editorial Team


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New Diabetes Stats Herald Cardiovascular Disease Warning

The number of people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK has increased by more than 150,000 to 2.8 million in the past year, warns leading health charity Diabetes UK.

The data[1], collected from GP practices, also show the nationwide figure of people registered as obese to have risen to over five and half million, an increase of more than 265,000.  This now means one in 20 of the population is being treated for diabetes and one in ten for obesity.

Simon O’Neill, Diabetes UK Director of Care, Information and Advocacy, said: “Once again we see a shocking rise in diabetes and obesity rates in the UK.  Many, but not all, people develop Type 2 diabetes because they are overweight or obese so we must keep up the mantra of ‘five fruit and veg a day’, encourage daily physical activity, and warn of the potentially devastating consequences of an unhealthy lifestyle.

“The obesity-fuelled Type 2 diabetes epidemic is a clear example of where the new coalition government’s rhetoric of tackling health problems through prevention must be turned into action. Failure to act now means a bleak future of spiralling NHS costs and worsening public health. Diabetes is serious”. Diabetes UK is encouraging people to go online and take its new Diabetes Risk Score test ( to find out about their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. People at increased risk of Type 2 diabetes can often decrease or even reverse their risk by losing weight, increasing their physical activity levels and improving their diet.

Around 10 per cent of NHS spending goes on diabetes and its complications; this equates to £9 billion per year or £1 million an hour.

People with diabetes registered with GP practices (aged 17 years )

Nation Number of people with diabetes 2009/10 No. of people with diabetes 2008/9 Diabetes prevalence 2009/10 Diabetes prevalence 2008/9 Increase of people with diabetes from 2008/9 to 2009/10
England 2,338,813 2,213,138 5.4% 5.1% 125,675
NI 68,980 65,066 3.7% 3.5% 3,914
Wales 153,175 146,173 4.9% 4.6% 7,002
Scotland 223,943 209,886 4.1% 3.9% 14,057
UK 2,784,911 2,634,263 4.26% 4% 150,648

People registered with GP as obese (aged 16 years +)

Nation Number of obese people 2009/10 Number of obese people 2008/9 Obesity prevalence 2009/10 Obesity prevalence 2008/9 Increase of obese people from 2008/9 to 2009/10
England 4,634,408 4,389,964 10.5% 9.9% 244,444
NI 174,180 165,956 9.3% 8.96% 8,224
Wales 318,606 305,923 10% 9.7% 12,683
Scotland 384,087 382,549 7.03% 7% 1,538
UK 5,511,281 5,244,392 8.4% 8.1% 266,889


1 (All data recorded April 2009 to March 2010)

England – 2009-2010 Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) for England by The NHS Information Centre for Health and Social Care – (

Northern Ireland – The Department of Health, Social Services Public Safety – (

Scotland – The Information Services Division – (

Wales – Welsh Assembly Government, Stats Wales – (

Published on: November 3, 2010

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