Number of people with Type 2 diabetes trebles since 1991

A Cardiff University study has concluded the number of people in the UK with Type 2 diabetes has trebled over the last two decades (Cardiff University, 2017).

The new findings, based on data collected by GP services in the UK between 1991 and 2014, also show a marked increase in life expectancy for people with the disease, explaining in part its increased prevalence. The increased number of people with the disease has also been linked to better diagnosis and rising levels of obesity; between 1993 and 2010 the proportion of obese people in the UK went from 13% to 26% for men and from 16% to 26% for women.

Professor Craig Currie, from Cardiff University’s School of Medicine, said “The number of people with type 2 diabetes in the UK has gone from 700,000 to around 2.8m over two decades, and it continues to increase…We are also seeing increased life expectancy from the disease which could be due to earlier diagnosis of the condition as well as drugs such as blood pressure tablets and statins for blood cholesterol.”

The data reveals the prevalence of diagnosed Type 2 diabetes increased with age, although this increase is lower in people aged over eighty. The disease prevalence was also generally higher in men than in women above the age of forty.

The research is published in Diabetic Medicine.

The organisations involved in the research include the Institute of Population Medicine at Cardiff University’s School of Medicine, Global Epidemiology, Pharmatelligence, and the Departments of Medicine at University Hospital of Wales and Rudolfstiftung Hospital Vienna.

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