Rising cases of diabetes in Dorset will lead to a sharp increase in heart attacks and strokes by 2035, the British Heart Foundation claims.

Research from the charity suggests a greater prevalence of diabetes is expected to cause an increase in the heart conditions.

Figures from Public Health England show that in 2015, 34,056 people in the Dorset county area were living with diabetes, or 9.7 per cent of the population.

By 2035, that figure is expected to grow to 43,729, or 11.1 per cent of the projected population.

In 2015, 10,591 people in Poole and 12,628 people in Bournemouth were living with diabetes, around eight per cent of the population.

By 2035, that figure is estimated to grow to 13,791 in Poole and 17,316 in Bournemouth, just under 10 per cent.

Simon Gillespie, chief executive of the foundation, said that while research was improving survival rates for heart attacks and strokes, the anticipated rise across Dorset justified further regulatory intervention by the state.

He added "People with diabetes are at an increased risk of developing heart and circulatory diseases and the expected surge in type 2 diabetes cases by 2035 could put thousands more people at risk of a deadly heart attack or stroke."

"We can only reverse this trend by taking bold action to tackle obesity and inactivity, especially amongst young people.

"This must include consideration of further regulatory action to reduce sugar and fat content in food, and to curb junk food advertising directed at young children.

"The food industry is not acting quickly enough to re-formulate its products, despite mounting evidence of their impact on the nation’s health."

Statistically, people with diabetes are between two and four times as likely to suffer from a heart attack or stroke than those without.

Being overweight is a major factor in developing type 2 diabetes.

The most recent figures, for 2016-17, show that a higher than the national average proportion of adults in both Dorset county and Poole were overweight, around 63 per cent.

In Bournemouth 56 per cent of adults were overweight that year, lower than the average.

Figures suggest that more than a quarter of year 6 pupils were overweight across the county that year, with between 14 and 17 per cent deemed obese, depending on the location.

In response, Dr Jenny Harries, deputy medical director at Public Health England, said: "Everyone can make important lifestyle changes to reduce their risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

"These include losing weight, quitting smoking, exercising regularly and cutting back on alcohol.

"I encourage having a free NHS Health Check, offered to 40-74 year olds, to help spot early warning signs of these preventable conditions and gives help and advice on lowering the risks."

Nationally, figures show nearly four million people across England currently have diabetes, and the number is projected to exceed five million by 2035.