Wake up call over diabetes threat, says city expert

Health news from The Star
Health news from The Star

Between 10% and 15% more people in Sheffield could have diabetes within ten years, putting them at greater risk of heart attacks and strokes, say local experts.

A ‘startling’ rise in cases across the country underlines the need for changes in lifestyle, including a healthier diet and more exercise, they say.

New figures in the British Medical Journal indicate more than a third of adults are on the verge of developing diabetes. Sheffield is predicted to see 10% to 15% more people affected by the disease within ten years.

Prof Simon Heller, director of research and development and honorary consultant physician at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, described the figures as ‘quite startling’.

“Rates of pre-diabetes were expected to rise, but we never expected to see such a huge surge.

“We’ve always known that diabetes is going up in developing countries, but this study shows that even in Europe the number of people potentially affected by the disease is going up much faster than thought, so it’s a real wake-up call.

“People with pre-diabetes have a much higher chance of developing full-blown diabetes, and although they don’t have any symptoms at this stage of the disease, simple measures like eating a healthy diet and doing more exercise can help to prevent the disease.”