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Home >> Life
UPDATED: 09:07, September 02, 2005
Diabetes cases in Britain top 2 million
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The number of British people with diabetes has broken through the two-million barrier due to rising problem of obesity.

The figure, compiled from English general practitioner records and Diabetes UK data for the other nations, is 250,000 higher than previous estimates, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported on Thursday.

There is no breakdown between the two forms of the disease, but 75 percent of cases are traditionally type 2 diabetes, which results when either the body does not produce enough of the hormone insulin to break down sugar in the blood, or the body's cells fail to respond to insulin.

This has been viewed as a "wake-up call" for health campaigners, as the number of children with type 2 diabetes are also on the rise, which was unheard of a decade ago.

Diabetes UK said it expected the rise would have been fueled by obesity as more than 65 percent of men and 55 percent of women in Britain are overweight or obese.

"Diabetes is serious and unless everyone with the condition is getting the care and education they need it can lead to heart disease, strokes, kidney disease, amputations and blindness," said Simon O'Neill, director of care and policy with Diabetes UK.

In his view, the increasing numbers are putting a massive strain on the National Health Service.

Dr Ian Campbell, president of the National Obesity Forum, believed the true figure would be even higher as many people are not even diagnosed yet.

He blamed the rising numbers on the "overindulgent lifestyle".

A spokesman with the Department of Health said the number of people developing type 2 diabetes is increasing partly due to increasing levels of obesity in the population.

The government was taking measures to improve diabetes services through the national service framework, she added.

Source: Xinhua

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