More than 100,000 people in south-east London are now living with diabetes as new diagnoses continue to increase every year.
Around 6.2 per cent of people in Southwark, Lambeth, Lewisham, Greenwich, Bromley and Bexley have the condition.
According to data from Diabetes UK, there are now 599,699 people living with diabetes in London and a record 13.6 million across the UK are believed to be at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in future. Type 2 diabetes accounts for around 90 per cent of diagnoses.
To coincide with Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Week, running from May 10-16, Diabetes UK, Public Health England and NHS England are focusing on how people can reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Although some factors are out of patients’ control, lifestyle changes can have a big impact. This is in stark contrast to type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease where the pancreas produces little or no insulin. Many people with type 1 diabetes develop symptoms when they are very young.
Obesity is the single biggest risk factor associated with type 2 diabetes, but age, family history and ethnicity also play a role.
People of African-Caribbean, Black African or South Asian descent are two to four times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those from a white background.
Roz Rosenblatt, London Head at Diabetes UK, said: “The number of people with diabetes is increasing year-on-year. As we look to the future post COVID-19, preventing cases of type 2 diabetes must be a public health priority.
“The pandemic has shown with devastating clarity how diabetes puts you at increased risk of poorer outcomes when contracting the virus.
“Yet, we know that with the right support, up to half of type 2 diabetes cases ? and the accompanying risk of developing life-threatening complications ? can be delayed or prevented.
“This Diabetes Prevention Week, we want to help people understand their personal risk of type 2 diabetes and the first step being is to complete our free Know Your Risk Tool, today.
“By taking just five minutes out of your day, you have the power to access information and support that could change your health for the better.”
The charity is encouraging people to use its online risk calculator to find out their own risk of developing type 2 diabetes and what action they can take to prevent a future diagnosis.