‘Diabetes Tipping Point’ – 1-in-10 living with diabetes by 2030, Diabetes UK warns

‘Diabetes Tipping Point’ – 1-in-10 living with diabetes by 2030, Diabetes UK warns

Up to 5.5 million adults in the UK – nearly 10 per cent of the projected adult population – will be living with diabetes by 2030, if further action is not taken to address soaring case numbers, charity Diabetes UK warned.

The charity’s startling prediction is based on analysis of Public Health England and The Association of Public Health Observatories’ diabetes prevalence projection models1. Additional analysis from Diabetes UK also suggests that one-in-three UK adults – more than 17 million people – could also be at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 2030, without urgent action to address what the charity describes as a ‘public health emergency’.

The charity warns that unless the governments of the UK commit to urgently and sustainably investing in diabetes care and prevention, the UK is on course to reach a ‘diabetes tipping point’, with devasting human consequences.

Diagnoses of diabetes have doubled in the last 15 years, and currently almost 4.1 million people in the UK are diagnosed with some form of the condition. The charity estimates that a further 850,000 are living with type 2 diabetes but, worryingly, are yet to be diagnosed.

Diabetes is a serious condition, requiring constant management. Without the right treatment, care and support, the condition can lead to devastating, life-altering complications – including heart attack, kidney failure, stroke, foot disease and blindness.

By 2030, if no further action is taken, Diabetes UK estimates there could be more than 87,000 hospital admissions a year in England due to diabetes. This would be an increase of 14% from 2020/21 and more than 50% higher than in 2006/07.

Clare Howarth, Head of the North of England at Diabetes UK said:

“Every diagnosis of diabetes is life-changing. The relentlessness of the condition, and the ever-present fear of serious and life-altering complications is a lifelong reality for millions of families across the UK.

“It’s a sobering thought then that, if we don’t act today, hundreds of thousands more will face the life-changing news that they have type 2 diabetes. We’re at the tipping point of a public health emergency, and need action today to stop it in its tracks.

“But it doesn’t have to be this way – we know that with the right care and support, diabetes complications can be avoided, and cases of type 2 diabetes can be put into remission, or prevented altogether.

“We don’t want our prediction to become a reality. What we need to see is the will, grit and determination from Government to halt this crisis in its tracks, and improve the future health of our nation for generations to come.”

The full impact of the pandemic on how diabetes care is only beginning to be uncovered. But with millions of people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes not getting all their vital, recommended health checks, and thousands of type 2 diabetes diagnoses being missed or delayed last year – the need to take decisive action is more urgent now than ever.

Gina, 48, Devon, is a nurse and has type 2 diabetes. She said:

“As a nurse, I understand the complexities of the condition and the importance of good management better than most, but life can still sometimes get in the way.

“My job can be very stressful – particularly during the pandemic- and it is hard to keep a good routine in terms of regularly checking my blood sugars and eating proper meals. I initially tried to manage my diabetes with diet. However, my blood glucose levels became dangerously high, and I temporarily lost my sight.

“People often don’t realise what a serious and all-encompassing condition diabetes can be until it is too late. I hope by sharing my story I am shedding some light on the realities of day-to-day life can be.”

Categories: Health