20% rise in Dungannon diabetes cases

Diabetes is on the rise
Diabetes is on the rise

The number of people diagnosed with diabetes in the Dungannon District has reached record levels increasing from 1,930 to 2,313 in the past five years, a jump of almost 20 percent.

The figures, released by the Northern Ireland Assembly, reveal that the prevalence of the disease is rocketing faster in other districts in Northern Ireland, with a 27% rise in Cookstown, and a 24% jump in Magherafelt.

Diabetes UK says the nation-wide rise is largely fuelled by type 2 diabetes, linked to obesity and unhealthy lifestyles.

It says more needs to be done to target those at risk.

The charity revealed that in the UK more than 3.2 million people were diagnosed in 2013 – an increase of more than 163,000 on the previous year.

Last year saw the biggest increase in a single year since 2008 and means six per cent of adults now have the condition.

The NHS spends 10% of its budget on diabetes and 80% of this goes on treating consequences such as amputation, kidney failure, heart disease and stroke.

Baroness Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: “The big increase in the number of people with diabetes confirms that we are in the middle of an unfolding public health disaster that demands urgent action.

“It is frightening to think that one in 17 people you walk past in the street has been diagnosed with the condition.

“We need more focus on preventing Type 2 diabetes, as this is the only way we can bring the rapid rise in diabetes cases under control.

“This means properly implementing the NHS Health Check so we can identify more people at high risk and then making sure they get the support they need to reduce that risk.

“We also need to address the obesity crisis, which is what is fuelling the increase in Type 2, by making healthy food cheaper and more accessible and by making it easier for people to build physical activity into their daily lives.”