One in 16 people across Northamptonshire has Type 2 diabetes, new figures have revealed.
Latest statistics compiled by NHS Digital show the number of people in the county with the condition rose from 29,749 in March 2011 to 37,009 in March 2016 which is an increase of 24.4 per cent in five years.
During the past 12 months, figures show that 1,547 people have been diagnosed – an increase of 4.4 per cent.
That means 6.3 per cent of the county population has diabetes. The vast majority of people (90 per cent) have Type 2 diabetes which is linked to lifestyle.
The figures have been released ahead of Diabetes Prevention Week, organised by the East Midlands Cardiovascular Clinical Network, which is set to start on Monday, January, 16.
It has been developed to raise awareness of Type 2 diabetes and increase referral numbers onto the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, which is being rolled out nationally.
As part of the campaign, diabetes charity Silver Star is participating in a Diabetes Prevention Roadshow, which will see mobile diabetes units being stationed in various locations across the county.
This will give members of the public the opportunity to find out what their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes is. If deemed high, they will be referred straight onto the programme.
The units will be situated at Corby’s Market Place on Monday, January 16 from 930am to 5pm and Northampton’s Market Square on Tuesday from 10am to 5pm.
Type 2 diabetes is one of the UK’s biggest health challenges – there are currently 4.5 million people in the UK who have diabetes, mainly Type 2, but that could rise to five million if the problem is not tackled, Public Health England recently said.
However, it is hoped the national Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme will help reduce the current increase in people with diabetes.
Since it started in the East Midlands in July 2016 more than 2,000 people have been referred onto the educational programme where participants receive tailored support to help them make positive changes to their diet, weight and the amount of physical activity they do to significantly reduce the risk of, or even stop them from developing Type 2 diabetes.
Martin Cassidy, Quality Improvement Manager, East Midlands Cardiovascular Clinical Network and lead coordinator for the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme in the East Midlands, said: “The fact that Type 2 figures have increased in Northamptonshire comes as no surprise as we already know the condition has become a major and worrying health concern.
“The Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, which is gradually being rolled out across the country, has been implemented to help those who are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
“It is essential we start to tackle the diabetes ticking time bomb before it’s too late. The NHS is already struggling to cope with treating the condition and the complications it can create if not managed correctly.”
Dr Yassir Javaid, the Cardiovascular and Diabetes Clinical Lead for the NHS Nene Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “The NHS is struggling to cope with the demands of managing diabetes and its complications.
“That is why we are focusing on identifying patients at high risk of diabetes and offering them education about the dangers of Type 2 diabetes and how it can be prevented.”