The number of people in Dorset estimated to have diabetes in 2035 is expected to rise to more than 74,000.

The shocking figures from Diabetes UK are part of the charity's Future of Diabetes report, which is launching today to mark World Diabetes Day.

Current figures for Dorset show that there are more than 40,000 people aged over 17 living with diabetes and more than 11,000 estimated to have undiagnosed diabetes.

The report also highlights research from Diabetes UK revealing that 64 per cent of people living with diabetes in the south west experience emotional or mental health problems as a result of their condition.

In a survey carried out by Diabetes UK, 861 people of different ages, ethnicities and backgrounds from across the south west shared their experiences living with diabetes today, and what their hopes and fears were for the future.

How diabetes affects emotional wellbeing stood out as a major factor for respondents, with nearly two thirds (64.4 per cent) saying that they often or sometimes feel down because of their diabetes. A third (33.1 per cent) said that diabetes got in the way of them or a family member doing things they wanted to do. And, alarmingly, only a third (32.9 per cent) said they definitely felt in control of their diabetes.

The research also found that 20 per cent of respondents had used support or counselling from a trained professional to help them manage their diabetes, and nearly 32 per cent had at some point relied on self-help materials including books, videos and resources found online.

The charity is urging the government to radically improve health outcomes for people with diabetes by committing to sustain transformation funding at current levels of £44 million in England, until at least 2021.

Diabetes UK has also launched a group in Dorchester, that offers support to people living with diabetes. It’s run by volunteers and members get the chance to meet and share experiences.

Annika Palmer, Diabetes UK south west regional head, said: “Diabetes affects more than 4.5 million people in the UK, including nearly 290,000 in the south west, and is the fastest-growing health crisis of our time.

"It can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and lower limb amputations. This new research brings to light the isolation that can come from managing an invisible condition, and how detrimental living with diabetes can be to a person’s emotional wellbeing without the right support.

“Effective diabetes care requires that a person’s emotional needs are taken into account alongside their physical care needs. We want to see a system where specialist support – from people who understand diabetes – is made available to those who need it.

“But in order to achieve that, we need to see sustained funding of £44 million for the diabetes transformation programme, which sets out to improve the treatment and care for people with diabetes. Investing now will not only allow us to reap substantial financial and social benefits in the future, but more importantly it will help people to live well with diabetes today.”

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