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Poor Conditions Increase Diabetes Risks

July 27, 2009

People living in the poorest regions of the UK are at more than twice the risk of having diabetes than the average person, according to a new report.

Additionally, people living in poor conditions who have the condition are more likely to develop further complications due to the disease than those who do not live in deprived conditions.

Diabetes UK issued a report on Monday that found strong links between deprivation and higher instances of diabetes.

“Deprivation is strongly associated with higher levels of obesity, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, smoking and poor blood pressure control, all of which are linked to the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and the risk of serious complications amongst those already diagnosed with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes,” Diabetes UK researchers said.

“In these times of economic uncertainty when people are more likely to turn to cheaper, processed foods, food labeling must be clear and consistent to allow people to make informed choices about what they are eating,” said Douglas Smallwood, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK.

Smallwood called on the NHS to “ensure that appropriate, high quality care is available across the country and that everyone, regardless of their socioeconomic status, is accessing it.”

“Research has shown that people with diabetes in deprived or high ethnicity areas are less likely to have key health checks, putting them at increased risk of developing devastating complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and amputation.

According to BBC Health, 2.5 million people in the UK were diagnosed with diabetes as of 2008, and the numbers have been rising. By 2025, it is estimated that more than 4 million people will have been diagnosed with the disease in the UK alone.

Losing weight can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by 58 percent in those at high risk. Additionally, physical activity can lower the risk by 64 percent, according to Diabetes UK.

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