University College London: Diabetes has trebled in England in the last 25 years

Researchers from UCL analysed the results the latest results from the Health Survey for England.

Data from 8,200 adults and 2,000 children living in private households showed that diabetes has risen in men from 3% to 9% and from 2% to 6% in women since 1994.

Those from poorer households and those with obesity are much more likely to be affected than the slim and affluent. 16% from the poorest homes had diabetes compared to 7% in the highest income group. If you are of normal weight there is a 5% chance of diabetes, 9% if you are overweight and 15% if you are obese.

Obesity is a marker for poverty. 39% of women in deprived areas were obese compared to 22% from least deprived areas. The weight of children was closely correlated with their parents.

Professor Jennifer Mindell said,” Diabetes has become more common in both high and low income countries over the last few decades. It increases the risks of circulatory diseases and cancers. This year we have also seen a rise in serious infection and death such as with Covid-19. Obesity reduction would help all of these problems.”

The survey also asked about GP visits. 69% of men and 82% of women had consulted a GP in the previous six months. GP consultations are more common in older ages, especially among men and those who are overweight or obese. 84% said they went about their physical health problems, 11% for physical and mental problems and 5% for an emotional or mental health problem. Women tended to seek more help for mental health problems than men.

Echoing all the other parameters, consultations for mental health problems were more frequent in those with lower incomes. 25% consulted from the lowest income group compared to 15% from the most affluent group.

Elizabeth Fuller, Research Director at NatCen said, ” One in five women and one in eight men screened positive for a possible eating disorder. This can mean eating too much or too little, obsessing with weight or body shape, having strict routines around food or purging after eating. People who are obese, younger adults and women are more likely to be affected.”

7 thoughts on “University College London: Diabetes has trebled in England in the last 25 years”

  1. I wonder however aobut increased life span of PWD’s . Better insulins, tech, cardiac treatment, and being sustained with kidney failure must have surely increased the number of people who are PWD’s. Yes I assume the numbers have gone up, I also assume that the number of people who are overweight has gone up. But until the last 3 yeas in the US, life span is also increasing. It seems unfair for UCL to pick a single factor and present it as a dooms day fact when there are many many variables.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Diabetes is a fatal disease. At present in India, the people with diabetes are facing the risk of contracting black fungus. Could you please do an article about how diabetic people can protect themselves from contracting black fungus.
    Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is an important topic Priya. I was reading the BMJ this week and it showed a photo of a woman aged 50 with diabetes in the UK who had this on her nose. The treatment is aggressive debridement which would be terribly disfiguring. Apart from keeping strict control of blood sugars I don’t know what else people can do. Although I had not heard of black fungus disease till this year and its prevalence in India, it is certainly not restricted to any particular locale.


  3. Unfortunately Priya I don’t know specifically about how to protect against black fungus. It looks absolutely horrifying. In general, a low carb diet, vitamin D, possibly extra vitamin C and stringent blood sugar control, with medication if necessary, are the main things that people can do to make their metabolisms as healthy as possible. Also of course exercise, sleeping well and reducing stress.


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