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74% rise of diabetes cases in the UK

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Figures show there was a 74% rise in the number of people in the UK newly diagnosed with diabetes between 1997 and 2003 and an overall increase of 63% over a decade.

According to experts from Spain and Sweden, the massive surge in new cases, particularly in Type 2 diabetes is a result of growing obesity levels in the UK.

Research published online in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health found that the number of men, women and children with Type 1 diabetes, which usually develops in childhood, and Type 2 diabetes, which is linked to obesity, rose dramatically between 1996 and 2005.

The figures suggest that diabetes is increasing faster in the UK than in the US, where prevalence of the disease is one of the highest in the world.

The authors wrote: 'Our results suggest that, although the incidence of diabetes remains lower in the UK than in the USA or Canada, it appears to be increasing at a faster pace.'

The study looked at new and existing cases of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, taken from 300 GP surgeries. It found that over the decade 49,999 people who already had diabetes were added to the register as were 42,642 newly-diagnosed people.

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