46% increase in diabetes in Coleraine in past five years

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DIABETES UK Northern Ireland has warned of the continuing growth of diabetes with figures indicating that 2450 adults in Coleraine are now diagnosed with the condition.

Figures, collected from GP practices in Coleraine, show a 46% increase in the condition since 2006. In the last year alone there have been 164 adults diagnosed with diabetes, a condition which can lead to serious complications such as kidney disease, heart disease, amputation, stroke and blindness. Coleraine shows the highest increase over the last five years of all the 26 Council areas in Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland as a whole experienced an increase of over 5% on last year’s figures with 72,693 adults now diagnosed.

Iain Foster, Director of Diabetes UK Northern Ireland, said: “We are in the middle of a diabetes epidemic. An extra 21,000 people in Northern Ireland are now living with diabetes since figures began to be collected, less than a decade ago.”

“If we are going to seriously address this epidemic we will need a regional approach which makes the most of resources already being spent and ensures a reduction in diabetes and its serious complications.”

“Treating diabetes and its complications already cost the NHS in Northern Ireland around £400m a year, 10% of its annual budget. With the numbers rapidly increasing it is now more important than ever that everything is done to prevent serious complications which cost the NHS millions and are absolutely devastating for the individuals and families involved.”

Around 85 per cent of people with diabetes (62,000) have Type 2 diabetes2, which is often, but not always, linked to lifestyle factors. In many cases the condition can be prevented by maintaining a healthy weight, taking regular physical activity and eating a balanced diet rich in fruit and vegetables but low in fat, sugar and salt.

According to the Northern Ireland Childhood Diabetes Register there are also 1,000 children and young people under the age of 17 diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. The exact cause of Type 1 diabetes is still unknown but it is not in anyway linked to lifestyle issues.

een diagnosed in the last year and would like support is encouraged to visit the Diabetes UK website www.diabetes.org.uk/northernireland or the Diabetes UK Northern Ireland Facebook Group to make contact and find out what support is available.