Diabetes cases double in the last 20 years

27 February 2018        

Category: BHF Comment

Blood clot

The number of people living with type 2 diabetes, putting them at significantly increased risk of a heart attack or stroke, has doubled in the last 20 years according to new figures released today.

Almost 3.7 million people have now been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes- an increase of 1.9 million since 1998 -  according to Diabetes UK. A further 12.3 million are at risk of developing the condition due to their lifestyle according to the report which was published today.

Higher levels of obesity across the UK are linked with the spike in type 2 diabetes patients, but more research is also needed to better understand how to combat the condition.

Diabetes and heart disease link

People with diabetes are 2-3 times more likely to develop heart and circulatory disease and twice as likely to die from a heart attack or stroke than the general population.

However, the link between the two isn’t completely understood and we are currently funding research to gain a greater understanding. This work could help scientists develop treatments for both conditions, as well prevent people developing them in the first place.

Fastest growing health crisis, increasing risk of heart attacks

Our senior cardiac nurse, Ashleigh Doggett, said:

“We know that people with diabetes are at an increased risk of developing heart and circulatory disease. These worrying figures released today reflect a population living with multiple heart and circulatory disease risk factors, and suggest the significant rise in UK prevalence of type 2 diabetes may put thousands more people at risk of potentially fatal heart attacks or strokes.

“However, the onset of these conditions can often be prevented and it is important for us to be aware we can take steps to reduce our risk of these conditions. Funding more research could lead to a better understanding of how these conditions are connected, leading to improved treatments and ultimately a better quality of life”

Find out more about our research into heart disease and diabetes