Over the last year 132,000 more people have been diagnosed with diabetes. There are an estimated 850,000 people with type 2 diabetes who haven't been diagnosed living in the UK.
There are serious public health implications associated with the country's growing diabetes problem and the NHS could see a huge increase in costs if there isn't more done to prevent the disease. Care for people with diabetes has improved over the past few years, but more work is still necessary.
Close to 75,000 people in the UK die every year because of diabetes, of which 24,000 of the deaths were earlier than expected and could have been avoided. Experts believe that urgent action is needed.
In an effort to try and create a healthier future for people suffering from diabetes, Tesco and the charity Diabetes UK have partnered up and will launch a huge fundraising project to try and raise £10 million - which would be the biggest donation ever made to the charity. In addition the partnership will try and raise awareness of Type 2 Diabetes risk factors, and target the 7 million in the country at high risk of developing the disease.
According to Barbara Young, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK:
"We are hugely concerned that the number of people diagnosed with diabetes has reached three million for the first time. There is no reason to think this will mark the end of what has been a rapid rise in the condition.
Instead, all the projections suggest that the three million figure will be a grim staging post on the road towards a public health emergency. This unfolding tragedy is already putting huge pressure on the NHS and will have potentially devastating consequences for those people who develop the condition. But this is not inevitable."
She believes that by identifying and helping people who are at high risk of Type 2 Diabetes, and helping them make the necessary lifestyle changes, incidence of the disease would go down significantly.
She added: "I'm delighted Tesco has made Diabetes UK its National Charity Partner, as this will make a real difference in curbing the rise in the condition. Not only will the partnership fund the biggest-ever public health campaign on risk factors and symptoms of Type 2 diabetes, but, crucially, it will be funding pioneering research into a vaccine for Type 1 diabetes."
Rebecca Shelley, Group Corporate Affairs Director at Tesco, said:
"Diabetes affects millions of families and communities across the UK and, as today's news confirms, the number of people with this condition is increasing. Thanks to this important partnership, we have the opportunity to inspire our colleagues and customers to come together and raise awareness and much needed funds to help the millions of people with diabetes in the UK."
The money raised will be used to:
- Help pioneer a new vaccine for Type 1 diabetes.
- Identify the estimated 850,000 undiagnosed people living with diabetes.
- Launch the biggest public awareness campaign of the risk factors associated with Type 2 Diabetes.
What Is The Difference Between Diabetes 1 And Diabetes 2?The three million total refers to both Diabetes Type 1 and Diabetes Type 2.
- Diabetes Type 1 is when the body does not produce insulin, it is an auto-immune disease and is not caused by any lifestyle factors. The patient's own immune system destroyed the insulin-producing beta cells. According to Diabetes UK, 10% of all diabetes cases in the United Kingdom are type 1.
- In Diabetes Type 2, the cells in the body do not respond properly to the insulin, or there is not enough insulin being produced (or both). Diabetes type 2 is mainly caused by:
- eating too much sugar, and
- leading a sedentary life.
Written by Joseph Nordqvist