New figures predict worrying rise in diabetes

A new model looking at diabetes prevalence in England has been developed which outlines detailed information on the number of people with diabetes in the UK.

The 'Diabetes Population Prevalence model' (DPPM) was commissioned by the Department of Health and estimates the prevalence in 2001 and 2010 for both diagnosed and undiagnosed cases.

It also provides information on how age, ethnicity and levels of socio-economic deprivation affect the figures and shows a worrying increase in the numbers of people developing the condition.

The model estimates that in 2001, over 2.1 million people in England had Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, representing approximately 4.4 per cent of the population. The figures also provide a warning: if the predicted increase in obesity is taken into account the model suggests prevalence could rise to just over five per cent by 2010.

"This model is incredibly helpful, as it pulls together information from numerous different sources," said Matt Hunt, Science Information Manager at Diabetes UK.

"It gives a clear indication of who is at high risk of diabetes and the peaks of prevalence around England. This information will allow local health services to allocate resources accordingly and tackle diabetes more effectively."

"The rise in prevalence is very worrying and action must be taken to try and reduce the incidence among high risk groups. Quality care must also be provided for those already diagnosed with the condition."

Although this model is very detailed, breaking down figures by English region and local authority, it still only provides an estimate of prevalence. Local health services will be developing a database of exact figures which they should use to inform work in their own areas.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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