There are around 2.5 million people in England (5.5% of the population) classed as diabetic. This figure is most likely to be an under count, as it is estimated there are another 750,000 people with undiagnosed diabetes in England. There are several risk factors for diabetes which include genetic risks, ethnicity, age and being overweight or obese.
What do we know?
Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes, accounting for around 90% of cases. It's strongly associated with obesity, which is a significant health problem in Shropshire as around a quarter of Shropshire adults are classed as obese. Therefore, a significant number of Shropshire people are at risk of diabetes because of this. Also increasing age leads to increasing risk of obesity and since Shropshire has an ageing population this could impact on the prevalence of diabetes locally.
People that have a close family member who has diabetes are significantly more likely to get diabetes themselves. People from South Asian, African, Caribbean and Middle Eastern backgrounds are more likely to be at risk of diabetes than the general population. In Shropshire the Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) population is significantly lower than the national average, so this will not impact on diabetes prevalence as much as other risk factors locally.
In Shropshire recorded diabetes prevalence is similar (5.4%) to the England figure. However the modelled prevalence for 2011 was 7.9% for people aged 16 years and over, which would suggest that there is an under diagnosis. The NHS Health Check should help identify some of these patients. There is variation between diabetes prevalence between GP practices in Shropshire.
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