DIABETES UK Northern Ireland has issued a warning about the rising number of cases of diabetes in Newtownabbey.
According to the charity’s latest figures, the number of local people living with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes has increased by 21 per cent during the last five years.
The total number of adults with diabetes aged 17 and over who are registered with GPs in Newtownabbey is now 3,104 compared to just 2,572 in 2007. The latest figure is also up from the 2,975 recorded in 2011.
The overall number of people in Northern Ireland with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes is now 75, 837 - a 33 per cent increase since 2007, and a further 1,038 young people under 17 are known to have Type 1 diabetes.
Prevalence in the Northern Ireland population is now over four per cent and it is estimated that around 10,000 people are living with the condition but have not yet been diagnosed.
Iain Foster, National Director of Diabetes UK Northern Ireland said: “These statistics are very worrying and we must take urgent steps to ensure that more people in Newtownabbey don’t develop the condition at this rate. Diabetes is a rising challenge within our health service and it is vital that an effective strategy is put in place to ensure we do not see a similar increase in the next five years.
“Diabetes and its complications are putting a huge strain on resources within our health service and as cuts continue to be made across all Trusts, the multi-disciplinary teams treating diabetes are becoming increasingly less equipped to meet the demand of patients and provide the necessary education for effective self-management.”
Type 2 diabetes is often, but not always, linked to lifestyle factors and in many cases the condition can be prevented by maintaining a healthy weight, taking regular physical activity and eating a balanced diet. However, Type 1 is also on the increase and is a serious condition that develops when the body cannot produce any insulin. The cause of Type 1 diabetes is still unknown but it has no link to lifestyle and therefore cannot be prevented.
For information about the signs and symptoms of diabetes log on to www.diabetes.org.uk