Rising levels of obesity and unhealthy lifestyles have seen the number of undiagnosed cases of type 2 diabetes swell to more than a million, research has found.
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It was previously thought that there were about 500,000 people in Britain suffering from the condition without being formally diagnosed, but new estimates have suggested that 820,000 adults in England alone could have undiagnosed diabetes, data from Diabetes Health Intelligence suggests.
Diabetes UK said this figure increases to 1.1 million people if results are considered for the rest of the UK.
If the trend continues, hospitals and nursing staff could be overwhelmed by cases by 2030 when some 5.5 million people could be living with either type 1 and type 2 diabetes in the UK.
Douglas Smallwood, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: "Whilst screening of at-risk groups has started, notably through the NHS health checks programme, it is clear there needs to be greater emphasis on successful delivery throughout the country."
Care services minister Paul Burstow echoed Mr Smallwood's comments, adding that PCTs across the UK are productively identifying and assessing those most at risk.
They include people who are overweight, aged over 40 or who have a relatives currently living with diabetes.