The number of people suffering heart attacks and strokes as a result of their diabetes will rise by 29 per cent by 2035, according to new forecasts from the British Heart Foundation.
The charity has warned that the growing number of people with diabetes could result in nearly 39,000 people living with diabetes having a heart attack in 2035 – a rise of 9,000 compared to 2015 – and over 50,000 people having a stroke – a rise of 11,000.
The vast majority of people with diabetes are type 2, with just 10 per cent diagnosed with type 1 in the UK. People with diabetes are two-to-four times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke, which means a rise in diabetes cases, is expected to trigger a sharp increase in these deadly heart and circulatory events.
In addition to heart attack and stroke, the rise in diabetes cases will increase the number of people suffering from conditions including angina and heart failure.
This rise is likely to put an unprecedented burden on the NHS, with previous estimates suggesting that the yearly cost of treating people with diabetes will be £16.9 billion by 2035, up from £9.8 billion in 2012.
The charity says the figures highlight the urgent need for ‘bold action’ to tackle lifestyle factors, such as obesity and a poor diet, that are leading to spiraling rates of type 2 diabetes, as well as a greater focus within the health sector on earlier diagnosis.
It also says that more research is urgently needed to improve our understanding of how diabetes and heart and circulatory diseases are connected, and to develop new treatments for people living with these multiple conditions.