The number of adults diagnosed with diabetes in the UK has increased by 65% since 2005 and by 3.5% in the past year, according to new research from the British Heart Foundation (BHF).
Having diabetes significantly increases a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease, which includes an increased risk of a heart attack or stroke and of losing limbs because of poor circulation.
Nearly 3.5 million UK adults have been diagnosed with diabetes according to new GP patient data for 2014/15. This figure is up from 3.3 million last year and two million in 2004/05.
Professor Peter Weissberg, Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, said: “Diabetes is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Up to four million adults in the UK have diabetes so treatments are urgently needed that can help prevent them suffering a deadly or disabling heart attack or stroke.”
The charity also announced that they will be investing £3 million into diabetes research.
Feebee Cox, aged 43 from Warwick, was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2013 and tried to manage her condition through lifestyle changes but found that she still needed medication. Her partner Lawrence was also diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and has had two heart attacks.
Cox said: “It’s scary to think how much more likely I am to have a heart attack because of diabetes. Since my diagnosis I’ve changed my diet and keep active through walking and regularly visiting the gym. It really helps that Lawrence and I can support each other on this journey. But I still need to take medicines to manage my condition and any new treatments that can be discovered to further reduce my risk of a heart problem would be hugely comforting.”