Sunderland’s diabetes time bomb as 4,000 believed to be undiagnosed’

Diabetes Awareness Campaign 2013
Diabetes Awareness Campaign 2013
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ALMOST 4,000 Wearsiders are today being warned that they may have life-changing diabetes.

New research shows there are currently more than 14,000 people diagnosed with the illness in Sunderland, and an estimated 3,700 people in the area with Type 2 diabetes who don’t yet know they have the condition.

Less than a third of people realise that Type 2 diabetes can lead to serious health complications such as amputation, heart attack, blindness and stroke, according to a new survey commissioned by Diabetes UK.

The figures have been revealed as part of the launch of a £2million awareness campaign to encourage people to have their risk of Type 2 diabetes assessed.

Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: “You only have to spend five minutes talking to someone who has lost their sight, or has lost a leg as a result of Type 2 diabetes, to realise the devastating impact the condition can have.

“But this survey makes it clear that most people do not understand the potential consequences of developing it, and I worry that until we finally lay to rest the myth that Type 2 diabetes is a mild condition, it will continue to be seen as something that is not worth being concerned about.”

Ms Young added: “By doing relatively simple things like losing some weight, eating more fruits and vegetables and becoming more active, we can all significantly reduce our risk, even if our ethnicity or family history has put our risk at a higher starting point.”

For more information, go to www.diabetes.org.uk/risk.