Type 2 diabetes cases in Scotland ‘up by 40% in 10 years’

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The number of people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in Scotland has increased by 40% over a decade, according to a new study.

Diabetes Scotland figures show cases rose from 190,772 to 267,615 between 2008 and 2018.

There are also an estimated 26,347 people living with the condition who have yet to be diagnosed.

People with type 2 diabetes are 50% more likely to die prematurely than those without the condition.

Heart disease is a common complication that can lead to an early death, with overweight people particularly affected.

Campaign group Diabetes Scotland said the figures confirmed type 2 was now “an urgent public health crisis”.

The group’s national director, Angela Mitchell, said: “Solving the crisis depends on decisive action led by both the UK and Scottish governments, supported by industry and delivered across our society.

“We must create healthy environments which support people to make healthy choices.

“This includes mandating industry to make food and drinks healthier and addressing the marketing and promotion of unhealthy foods.”

She added: “We welcome the action from the Scottish government in developing the Type 2 Diabetes Framework but we must ensure that there is long-term support people in Scotland to live healthier lives.”

What is type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition associated with obesity and family history and is more likely to be diagnosed in older people. It is more common than type 1 diabetes.

It is caused by problems with controlling blood sugar levels – either because the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or if a body’s cells do not react to insulin as they should.

Excessive weight is the single greatest risk factor associated with type 2, responsible for 80% to 85% of someone’s risk of developing the condition.

The condition is treated by medication or controlling a person’s diet.

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