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England: One in three adults has prediabetes

Rate of prediabetes has risen from 11.6% in 2003 to 35.3% in 2011
50.6% of the population who were overweight and ≥40 years of age had prediabetes

One in three adults in England has prediabetes according to a paper published in the British Medical Journal. The number of adults with prediabetes has increased from 11.6% in 2003 to 35.3% in 2011.

The study used data collected by the Health Survey for England (HSE) in England in the years 2003, 2006, 2009 and 2011.  All participants were aged 16 and older, provided a blood sample and had not previously been diagnosed with diabetes. Individuals were classified as having prediabetes if glycated haemoglobin was between 5.7% and 6.4%.

Not only did they find that the prevalence rate of prediabetes increased to 35.3% in 2011, but 50.6% of the population who were overweight and ≥40 years of age had prediabetes.

Individuals with greater socioeconomic deprivation were more likely to have prediabetes in 2003 (p=0.0008) and 2006 (p=0.0246), but the relationship was not significant in 2009 (p=0.213) and 2011 (p=0.3153). In logistic regressions controlling for age, sex, race/ethnicity, BMI and high blood pressure, the second most socioeconomically deprived had a significantly elevated risk of having prediabetes.

"The level of increased diabetes risk has gone up quite steeply, it has been rising in other countries, but it has leapt up faster in England than in the US - it's a big jump really,” Professor Richard Baker, one of the report's authors from the University of Leicester, told the BBC. "A lot of people with type-2 diabetes manage their condition very well, but some are unlucky and get severe consequences quickly, it's not a nice disease to have."

Between 5% and 10% of people with pre-diabetes go on to develop type-2 diabetes each year, the researchers said. Approximately 3.2 million people in the UK have type-2 diabetes and the charity Diabetes UK estimates that figure will rise to 5 million by 2025.

To view the paper, please click here

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