Monday, 20 August 2012
Diabetes rate in Scotland continues to increase
Almost a quarter of a million people in Scotland now have diabetes, according to the latest figures.
New statistics in the annual Scottish Diabetes Survey show the number of people with the condition has continued to increase by about 10,000 a year.
A total of 247,278 people now have diabetes, almost 5% of the population.
The majority of these people, about 217,500, have type 2 diabetes, a form of the disease which can be caused by an unhealthy lifestyle.
Type 2 is also more common among older people.
Chief Medical Officer Sir Harry Burns, Scotland's top doctor, said: "This survey highlights the increasing number of people with diabetes that is directly related to the ageing of the population and unhealthy lifestyle factors such as obesity.
"Stopping smoking, eating better and taking regular exercise is something we can all do to make sure we are as healthy as possible."
Diabetes is a long-term health condition where the amount of glucose in the blood is too high.
If left untreated it can cause many different health problems, as large amounts of glucose can damage blood vessels, nerves and organs.
Jane-Claire Judson, the director of Diabetes UK, said the "relentless rise" in the number of people with the disease showed that "diabetes deserves immediate attention as a major public health concern".
She said: "Meeting the challenge of diabetes requires the NHS, government and society overall to take action to improve our nation's health, and together we need to ensure that those already diagnosed have the best support and care available."
A new online resource, MyDiabetesMyWay has been developed to help diabetics manage their condition more effectively.
In what is said to be a world first, the interactive website will allow them to view their latest clinic results online, along with treatment advice.
Public Health Minister Michael Matheson said: "Now everyone living with diabetes in Scotland has the opportunity to view their own clinical diabetes data online.
"I would strongly encourage people living with diabetes to sign up and see for themselves how this valuable resource can support them to self-manage their condition."