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Thursday, 31 July 2014

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Diabetes rising fast among overweight

DIABETES rates in Cumbria have soared in the past year, figures have revealed.

Statistics released by national charity Diabetes UK show the diabetes epidemic is continuing to grow across the county.

There were 22,923 people diagnosed with diabetes in Cumbria this year, compared to 21,888 cases last year.

Nationwide, the number of people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK has increased by almost 130,000 to 2.9million in the past year. Of these, 90 per cent are type 2 diabetes.

The data comes from the charity Diabetes UK, which is urging members of the public to be aware of risk factors and signs and symptoms of the condition.

Public health bosses in the county have also backed steps to raise awareness of type 2 diabetes, as the number of people in Cumbria living with the condition is expected to rise by two thirds over the next 20 years.

Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: “The rate of increase of diabetes is growing with huge human cost and cost to the NHS.

“The time for action is now.

“While rates of other serious conditions including many cancers, heart disease and stroke are steady or declining, the epidemic of diabetes continues to grow at even faster rates.”

Carole Wood, associate director of public health for NHS Cumbria, said: “Across Cumbria cases of type 2 diabetes are increasing due to the number of people becoming more overweight.

“This is something which, working with communities, we are keen to change by helping children and families make healthy choices where possible.

“In Furness alone, there are schemes such as Henry, which runs in children’s centres to help educate parents and families around the importance of healthy eating, and Doorstep Walk packs which suggest easy ways for people to get more active through walking routes starting in their neighbourhoods.

“People who are overweight are often warned about the risk of developing diabetes and encouraged to make simple changes to improve their health.

“A scheme which has been piloted called Walking Away from Diabetes will also be rolled out across Cumbria in GP surgeries next year to give people at risk of developing diabetes help and regular targets to help them walk their way to improving their health and reducing their risk.

“For those people who are newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes NHS Cumbria also commissions the Desmond programme, which helps to educate around what type 2 diabetes is and how they can help themselves to stay as healthy for as long as possible by managing their condition through diet and exercise.”

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