Barbara Young: 50,000 Scots have diabetes and don’t know it

SCOTLAND, in common with the rest of the United Kingdom, is seeing rising numbers of people developing Type 2 diabetes, with the number of people diagnosed having more than doubled in ten years.

Scotland also has one of the highest rates of Type 1 diabetes, unconnected with lifestyle, in the world.

Both types of diabetes, with the right support, can be well managed so that people have long and satisfying lives, but all too often serious complications can result from late diagnosis and poor care.

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It is, therefore, fitting that the largest diabetes conference in the UK is being held in Scotland this week to help focus attention and efforts.

Almost 3,000 of the UK’s top specialists in healthcare and scientific research are in attendance at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) in Glasgow discussing the latest in ground-breaking diabetes research and innovative treatment options under the theme “Diabetes: overcoming hurdles, achieving success”.

While we’re bringing the best professionals in the UK and beyond to the city we also want to take real life awareness of diabetes to the public and with the help of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau we’ve arranged for our Diabetes Healthy Lifestyle roadshow to visit Glasgow’s Buchanan Street.

The diabetes epidemic is bigger than many of us think and it’s one of the most aggressive health problems facing us today.

Frighteningly, more than 200,000 people are living with Type 2 diabetes in Scotland but what is even more worrying is that there are a shocking 50,000 more living with the condition and not even knowing it.

The roadshow will raise awareness of risk factors for Type 2 diabetes, which include being overweight or having a large waist, being aged 40 (or, for black and south Asian people, over 25) and having a close relative with diabetes. By spotting diabetes earlier you can avoid the risk of developing complications like heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and amputation.

We’re here to spread a serious message and raise awareness of diabetes in Scotland.

• Baroness Barbara Young is chief executive of Diabetes UK.