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Charity warns of diabetes health emergency

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Diabetes UK says the consequences of rise in cases could be disastrous to the NHS, as it's revealed that 738 are diagnosed every day

A charity has warned that diabetes is fast becoming a national health emergency.

Diabetes UK said that 268,000 people – or 738 people a day – are diagnosed with the condition throughout the country.

Most have type 2 diabetes which is linked to obesity.

Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: “It is deeply worrying that more than 700 people a day are being diagnosed.

“This clearly shows the frightening scale of what is fast becoming a national health emergency.”

We need the NHS and the Scottish Government to do all they can to force through messages on healthy living

Diabetes UK said it would be “disastrous” if cases continue to rise at the same rate, claiming the cost to the NHS would be unsustainable.

The warning comes as it emerged that drugs for diabetes and obesity have cost NHS Scotland £230 million in the last three years.

Figures obtained by the Scottish Conservatives show that more than 3.3m items had been dispensed to treat diabetes in Scotland in 2013-143 at a cost of £75.1m.

In the past three years, £224.1m has been spent on diabetes prescriptions and another £6.1m on prescriptions for obesity.

Jackson Carlaw, Scottish Tory health spokesman, said: “We need the NHS and the Scottish Government to do all they can to force through messages on healthy living but it isn’t just down to them. There has to be a level of personal responsibility.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Our diabetes action plan, which will be updated this summer, sets out a clear commitment to the prevention and early detection of diabetes and to improving the treatment of people with diabetes.”

 

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