'Alarming' rise in number of people in Gloucestershire with diabetes
THERE are 770 more people in Gloucestershire with diabetes than a year ago.
Diabetes UK has released figures based on a new study, which shows around 36,100 people in the county suffers from the illness.
This means that 7.3 per cent of people over the age of 16 in the area are now thought to have the condition, and Diabetes UK has warned that this proportion is expected to rise further over the next few years.
It is projected that eight per cent of people in Gloucestershire will have diabetes by 2020, a rise that is expected to comprise mainly of new cases of Type 2 diabetes, which already accounts for about 90 per cent of diabetes cases nationally. Risk factors for Type 2 include being overweight; having a large waist; being over 40, or over 25 if you are from South Asian background; or having a close family member with diabetes.
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Diabetes UK has responded to news of the increase by urging people in Gloucestershire to make sure they know the risk factors for Type 2 diabetes and have their risk assessed if any of these apply to them.
Graham Cooper, Diabetes UK’s regional manager for the South West, said: “It is alarming that the number of people with diabetes in Gloucestershire has gone up by more than 770 in a single year and addressing this situation needs to be one of the top health priorities in the area. Given that the increase in diabetes cases is mainly due to a sharp rise in Type 2 diabetes, we need to get much better at preventing cases of Type 2.
“A vital first step towards this is to ensure both that people realise how serious it is and also that they understand their own personal risk so that if they are at high risk they can make the lifestyle changes that can help prevent it.
“This is why we need to raise awareness that if people are over 40, overweight, have a large waist, or have a family history of diabetes, they need to get a risk assessment, as should people from who are South Asian and aged over 25.
“I know that we all have busy lives and that thinking about future health can be uncomfortable, but it is only if people in Gloucestershire grasp the nettle and get their risk assessed that we can start to bring the rise in diabetes in the area to an end.”