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10 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Diabetes

Posted by: Patrick Catanzariti on March 8, 2016

Diabetes is a disease that touches a lot of people’s lives, and one of the fastest growing medical conditions in the UK. Despite all this, many people are in the dark about diabetes and how it can affect you. We’ve got 10 facts you might not know about diabetes in the UK. 

1. Diabetes is one of the world’s earliest documented diseases

Diabetes seems like a fairly modern disease, so it might surprise you to learn it is one of the world’s earliest documented diseases! In fact, ancient Egyptian manuscripts dating back to 1500 BC describe it.

2. Over four million people in Britain have diabetes

According to Diabetes UK, around 1 in 16 people has the disease. Those figures include people yet to have an official diagnosis. To put that into context, that is just under half the population of London!

3. Hundreds of people are diagnosed daily. 

It might shock you to learn that a whopping 700 people a DAY get diagnosed with diabetes. That means someone gets the diagnosis every two minutes! 

4. Diabetes rates have doubled in the last 20 years

In 1996, 1.4 million people got diagnosed with diabetes. Today, in 2016, that figure has more than doubled to 3.5 million. And it’s not showing any signs of slowing down. 

5. England has the highest amount of diabetics in the UK

Diabetes UK reports that England has the most amount of diabetics in the whole of Britain. As of 2015, 2.9 million people have diabetes in England. Coming in second is Scotland at 271,312 people. Meanwhile, Wales takes third place at 183,348 while Northern Ireland has 84,836 diabetics.

6. 90% of people in the UK have Type 2 diabetes

The primary cause of Type 2 diabetes is obesity and lack of exercise. That’s part of the reason there’s a push to get people to lead healthier lifestyles. Just 10% of people have Type 1 diabetes, which is often inherited.

7. If you’re in your 60’s, you’re most likely to have diabetes

In England, Wales and Scotland, the age group with the highest number of diabetics is people aged 60-69. More than a quarter of all diabetics in England, Scotland and Wales are in this age group.

8. Middle-aged people are also at a higher risk of getting diabetes

People in their forties are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes due to a poor diet and lifestyle. This is a strong case for people to eat healthier foods and exercise on a regular basis.

9. Diabetes often runs in the family

We know that some cases of Type 1 diabetes occur as a result of genetics. What is less known is that genetic factors play a role in people getting diagnosed with Type 2. If an overweight family member has it, you are 2-6 times more likely to develop it too. This can also be due to environmental factors like lifestyle and diet habits that are passed down in families. 

10. Diabetes can have a devastating health impact

In addition to the health complications diabetes brings, there are a number of other health issues that it can cause. If you get diagnosed with diabetes, you’re at a higher risk of developing other medical problems, including cardiovascular disease, kidney and eye disease.


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