Up to 5.5 million adults in the UK – nearly 10 per cent of the projected adult population – will be living with diabetes by 2030, if further action is not taken to address soaring case numbers.

The warning comes from charity Diabetes UK which is basing the prediction on analysis of Public Health England and The Association of Public Health Observatories’ diabetes prevalence projection models. Additional analysis from Diabetes UK also suggests that one-in-three UK adults – more than 17 million people – could also be at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 2030, without urgent action to address what the charity describes as a ‘public health emergency’.

The charity warns that unless the governments of the UK commit to urgently and sustainably investing in diabetes care and prevention, the UK is on course to reach a ‘diabetes tipping point’, with devastating human consequences.

Diabetes UK is calling on the UK Government to:

• Make more funding available to enable more people to avoid a diagnosis of type 2 through increasing access to proven preventative measures such as the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme

• Significantly expand access to interventions to help people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes go into remission where possible, such as low-calorie weight-management programmes and bariatric surgery

• Improve access to weight management services for those living with overweight or obesity

• Urgently address post-pandemic backlogs, to ensure swift recovery of diagnoses of type 2 diabetes and ensure that people with all types of diabetes have access to care and diabetes checks, to minimise their risk of diabetes complications

Diabetes is a serious condition, requiring constant management. Without the right treatment, care and support, the condition can lead to devastating, life-altering complications - including heart attack, kidney failure, stroke, foot disease and blindness.