Figures released by the British Heart Foundation suggest that the number of UK adults living with diabetes has risen by more than 65 per cent in the last decade alone.
The organisation analysed GP data, and found that 3.5 million people were diagnosed with diabetes between 2014 and 2015.
By comparison, around 2 million people had been diagnosed with the condition back in 2004 and 2005.
It is estimated from the figures that people living with Type 2 diabetes, associated with unhealthy lifestyles and obesity, could be in excess of 3 million.
These latest figures are indicative of the diabetes academic that has been sweeping the Western world.
Although there are numerous factors contributing to this issue, not least sedentary lifestyles, the vast amount of sugar being consumed is considered to be a major contributor.
Processed food often contains large amounts of added sugar, with many people consuming quantities of which they are simply not aware.
Commenting on the research carried out by the British Heart Foundation, Doctor Richard Cubbon said: “We are currently unable to reverse blood vessel damage caused by diabetes. We’re studying a protein which could be involved in blood vessel repair, which could lead to new drugs that help prevent the deadly heart attacks and strokes associated with diabetes.”
The figures are a worrying precedent of the extent of the diabetes problem in the UK.
Ten years ago, it was considered extremely serious that in the region of 2 million people in Britain had been diagnosed with the condition.
At that time, a World Health Organisation report indicated that deaths due to diabetes in Britain could be expected to increase 25 per cent in the next decade.
In reality, this has turned out to be a gross under estimation, which suggests that the scale of the problem may accelerate still further in the future.
Confirming this trend, Chris Askew, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: “The number of people with diabetes is rising at an alarming rate and every year there are more than 20,000 people who die tragically young as a result of the condition. Given the scale and the seriousness of the condition, it is vital that there is more research into better treatment and, ultimately, into finding a cure.”
Askew also mused on the scale of the problem.
“Diabetes remains one of the biggest health challenges of our time. We must protect the health of the nation by taking urgent steps to get to grips with it or we will continue to see more and more people dying before their time.”