Swansea researchers predict 7,000 more diabetics in Wales next year
Researchers at Swansea University's School of Medicine have found that around 7,000 people in Wales could be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes each year. They also warn that as many as 40 per cent more people in a year may be unaware that they have developed diabetes.
The research team comprising Dr Sinead Brophy, Helen Davies and Caroline Brooks, Professor Ronan Lyons and Professor Rhys Williams looked at the anonymised computer records of GP practices in Swansea and found that in 2006 there were 597 new cases of Type 2 diabetes in Swansea alone – an incidence rate of 2.5 per 1,000 patients. Applied across Wales, these figures suggest around 7,000 new diagnoses of Type 2 diabetes each year.
Says Dr Sinead Brophy, Senior Lecturer in Epidemiology at the School of Medicine, and Lead Researcher, "Our findings indicate that Wales is facing an epidemic of Type 2 Diabetes – which may be related to the general trend in rising obesity and lower activity levels. Early detection can greatly reduce the future complications associated with diabetes. So if you have a family history of diabetes or fear you might be at risk, please go to your GP or health professional to ask about diabetes testing."
The findings are being presented at Diabetes UK’s Annual Conference in Glasgow this week. Dai Williams, Diabetes UK Cymru National Director, commented, "Type 2 diabetes is a condition that’s on the increase in Wales and worldwide. Diabetes UK supports targeted interventions with people and communities known to be at high risk of diabetes, and also a comprehensive screening programme across Wales to ensure that no one goes undiagnosed."
The Type 2 Diabetes research at the School of Medicine's Institute of Life Science is part of a larger study currently underway on the incidence of the different types of diabetes across Wales.