3:30pm Tuesday 8th October 2013
By Melanie Adams
THE number of people suffering from diabetes in Hampshire and Southampton has risen by nearly 2,000 in just the last 12 months, latest figures have revealed.
There are now 1,747 more diabetics in Hampshire and 242 more in Southampton compared to last year – an alarming rise that campaigners are warning needs to be stopped by those most at risk making lifestyle changes.
Diabetes UK fears that some people are putting their lives at risk by mistakenly thinking diabetes is a relatively mild condition resulting in their failure to treat it properly.
That is why the charity has launched a hard-hitting campaign to highlight the potentially devastating consequences the condition can have, including blindness, amputation and ultimately early death.
The worrying figures from Yorkshire and Humber Health Intelligence reveals that seven per cent of people living in Hampshire – 75,394 – have the condition, while six per cent (12,387) are suffering in Southampton. And the figures are set to only increase if action is not taken.
The rise will mainly comprise of Type 2 diabetes cases and the risk factors for this condition includes being overweight, having a large waist, being over 40 or over 25 if you are from a South Asian background, or having close family members with diabetes.
Jill Steaton, Diabetes UK’s regional manager for the south-east, said: “It is alarming that the number of people with diabetes in Hampshire and Southampton has gone up so much in a single year and addressing this situation needs to be one of the top health priorities in the area.
“A vital first step towards this is to ensure both that people realise how serious it is and also that they understand their own personal risk so that if they are at high risk they can make the lifestyle changes that can help prevent it.
“I know we all have busy lives and that thinking about future health can be uncomfortable, but it is only if people in Southampton and Hampshire grasp the nettle and get their risk assessed that we can start to bring the rise in diabetes in the area to an end.”
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