WALES: Diabetes in Wales increases by 6%.
DIABETES in Wales is on the rise, new figures showed yesterday. The proportion of people with diabetes rose by 6% in the past 12 months, in line with a rise in the UK as a whole by more than 167,000 bringing the total number to almost 2.5 million.
In England, a 6.4% increase means the number of people with diabetes has passed two million for the first time, says the charity Diabetes UK.
Scotland experienced the biggest rise in the UK - 16.7% - partly due to improved recording of cases.
Around 90% of people with diabetes have the type 2 form of the disease which is strongly associated with obesity and lifestyle.
There are around five million obese people in the UK, compared with almost 4.8 million last year.
Douglas Smallwood, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: "These are truly alarming figures. Part of why we have seen such a huge increase can be attributed to improved screening from healthcare services and greater awareness amongst those at high risk of type 2 diabetes.
"However, there is no getting away from the fact that this large increase is linked to the obesity crisis."
"Diabetes is one of the biggest health challenges facing the UK today. It causes heart disease, stroke, amputations, kidney failure and blindness, and more deaths than breast and prostate cancer combined.
"The NHS already spends one million pounds an hour on diabetes."
He added: "We need to do all we can to raise awareness of the seriousness of diabetes and help people understand how a healthy lifestyle can help reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes."