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Public Health England (PHE) has forecast that the number of people diagnosed with diabetes could top five million if obesity rates continue to increase.
This would mean that one in 10 adults in the UK will be at risk of developing diabetes by 2035. The PHE analysis includes type one diabetes, which is an auto-immune disease and accounts for about 10 per cent of cases in the UK. Type 2 diabetes, for which the remaining 90 per cent of patients are diagnosed, is often linked to being overweight.
Additionally, health experts have warned that the burden of treating diabetes could bankrupt the NHS, with the potential to soar to 17 per cent of the NHS budget. The NHS currently spends about 10 per cent of its entire budget on diabetic care.
Professor Jonathan Valabhji, the national clinical director for obesity and diabetes for NHS England, has claimed that there is a need to ‘stem the tide’ or face major ‘issues of sustainability’.
Chris Askew, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: “As things stand we are certainly looking at a crisis in diabetes which threatens to bankrupt the NHS if we continue with these current trends.
"I believe we're facing a crisis and we really need concerted action right across society for us to fund more research, provide best possible care and crucially prevent so many cases of type 2 in the future."
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