MORE than 2,300 people were diagnosed with diabetes in Lancashire between 2018 and 2019, new research has revealed.

Analysis by Diabetes UK shows the number of people diagnosed with diabetes in Lancashire increased from 103,459 in April 2018 to 105,846 in March 2019 — a rise of 2,387.

Blackburn with Darwen continues to have the highest prevalence of the condition in the county, with 8.5 per cent of people diagnosed with diabetes – almost one in 10 people.

Dr Rahul Thakur, clinical lead for diabetes at NHS East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Type 2 Diabetes is a growing health problem nationally and not just in our area of Pennine Lancashire. This is partly due to high levels of deprivation and partly because a reasonably high proportion of our residents come from ethnic groups who are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

“It is a priority area for both CCGs (East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen) and we support initiatives such as The Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme.

“In Pennine Lancashire we have the highest uptake of patients across Lancashire and South Cumbria involved in this programme. Additionally, we have free short diabetes educations courses available for newly diagnosed people with Type 2 Diabetes.

“If Type 2 diabetes is managed well by the individuals, there isn’t a massive difference in their daily life. Individuals will need to make slight adjustments to the choice of food, lifestyle and medication.”

Around 90 per cent of people diagnosed have type 2 diabetes and are 50 per cent more likely to die prematurely than those without it.

At the current rate of around 100,000 diagnoses each year, the number of people with the condition is expected to rise to 5.3 million by 2025.

Common effects that can lead to an early death are heart disease, experiencing heart failure and being twice more likely to suffer a heart attack.

Clare Howarth, Head of the North of England at Diabetes UK, said: “Type 2 diabetes is an urgent public health crisis, and solving it depends on decisive action that’s led by government, supported by industry and delivered across our society.

“More than half of all cases of type 2 diabetes − and the accompanying risk of developing devastating complications − could be prevented or delayed by supporting people to make healthier choices.

“This includes mandating industry to make food and drinks healthier and addressing the marketing and promotion of unhealthy foods.

“At the same time, we need to help people understand their personal risk of type 2 diabetes and find tailored clinical support to reduce it.

“The Government promised to tackle obesity, and it’s time for them deliver on this promise, and lead the way in affecting real change.”

Obesity in England has almost doubled in the last 20 years from almost seven million to over 13 million.