RECORD numbers of people in Leeds have been diagnosed with diabetes, according to new figures which show the total in the UK has topped four million for the first time.
The charity Diabetes UK, which has analysed GP practice data, says the need to tackle the disease “has never been so stark or so urgent” and has called on the Government to get to grips with the obesity epidemic.
According to the charity there are now 39,635 people in the city with diabetes, an increase of 4,527 since 2012.
Leeds North CCG has seen a rise of 14.32 per cent over the past three years compared to the national average of six percent, the fifth largest rise in the country.
North Kirklees saw the second highest rise in the region of 12.74 per cent, followed by Scarborough and Ryedale (11.56 per cent) and Leeds South and East (10.07 per cent)
The charity is warning that if current trends continue, an estimated five million people will have diabetes by 2025.
Stephen Ryan, Diabetes UK Regional Manager in the North of England, said: “Over the past three years we have continued to see the number of people with diabetes in Leeds rise at an alarming rate and these latest figures are a stark call and urgent call for action to tackle this serious health condition.
“Tragically, we are continuing to see too many people with diabetes suffering serious complications, and even dying before their time, and we know that key reasons for this are that they are not getting the care and access to education that would help them to manage their condition well.”
The charity said the Government should lead on basic measures to tackle obesity which puts people at increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, including making healthy food cheaper and more accessible.