Suffolk diabetes figures on the rise

NEW figures today reveal Suffolk's growing diabetes problem, with people getting the disease on the up.

NEW figures today reveal Suffolk's growing diabetes problem, with the number of people getting the disease on the up.

The statistics show more people are developing the disease than ever before and a leading diabetes expert said its prevalence in the county would continue to increase for the foreseeable future.

Dr Gerry Rayman, director of diabetes services at Ipswich Hospital, said: “Undoubtedly more and more people are getting diabetes.

“It is predicted it will continue to increase and by 2020 the number of people with diabetes worldwide is expected to have doubled.

“I think the main reason is because of our lifestyle. People don't take enough exercise as they should for the amount of food and the type of food they eat.

“Obesity and lack of exercise then contribute to people getting diabetes. Slim people do develop it too but less often.

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“Prevention is so important and so is trying to raise awareness about obesity.

“It is clear that if you have type 2 diabetes it will take up to ten years off your life.”

The figures were released by the Department of Health. In 2004/05 3.2per cent of the Suffolk population had diabetes. In 2005/06 it went up to 3.3pc and in 2006/07 it was 3.4pc.

His views were echoed by Liz Hartley, one of the founders of the Suffolk Diabetes Interest Group and a diabetes specialist nurse.

She said: “It is a huge, huge, problem.

“At the moment we are tackling it when people have already developed diabetes but we need to do more to stop it beforehand, it needs to start at the bottom.”

n Are you suffering from diabetes? How does it affect your life? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Diabetes mellitus is a condition in which the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood is too high because the body cannot use it properly.

There are two main types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2.

Type 1 is the least common type and develops if the body is unable to produce any insulin.

Type 2 accounts for between 85 and 95pc of all people with diabetes and develops when the body can still make some insulin, but not enough. In most cases this is linked with being overweight.

There are more than 2.3 million people with diabetes in the UK and there are up to another 750,000 people with diabetes who have the condition and don't know it.

SOURCE: Diabetes UK

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