PEOPLE on the Isle of Wight have been urged to make healthy lifestyle changes to stem an alarming rise in diabetes.
The number of people with diabetes on the Isle of Wight rose by 274 in a year, according to a new analysis by Diabetes UK.
It shows 10,368 people here are now thought to have diabetes — 8.5 per cent of the adult population — a proportion expected to rise further over the next few years if nothing is done.
It is projected 9.2 per cent of Island people will have diabetes by 2020, a rise that is expected to comprise mainly of type-2 diabetes, which already accounts for about 90 per cent of cases.
Risk factors for type-2 include being overweight, having a large waist, being over 40, or over 25 if from a South Asian background, or having a close family member with the condition.
Diabetes UK has responded to news of the increase by urging people on the Island to make sure they know the risk factors for type-2 diabetes and have their risk assessed if any of the factors applied to them.
The charity points to it being possible to prevent, or delay, 80 per cent of cases by making healthy lifestyle changes.
Diabetes can lead to devastating health complications, such as blindness, amputation, stroke and heart attacks and, ultimately, result in early death.
Diabetes UK’s regional manager, Jill Steaton, said: "It is alarming the number of people with diabetes on the Isle of Wight has gone up by 274 in a year and addressing this situation needs to be one of the top health priorities in the area."
l People can check risk factors at a Tesco pharmacy, their GP surgery, or online at www.diabetes.org.uk/risk