South Tyneside has the highest number of people living with diabetes in Tyneside.
New figures released by support charity Diabetes UK reveal the number of people diagnosed with the condition has reached 48,857 - an increase of 1,514 since last year.
Diabetes can be a serious condition which can kill, if left untreated or not controlled.Clare Allom
The borough has the highest prevalence of diabetes in the North East, with 7.3% of people living with a diagnosis - above the national average which is currently 6.6%.
While Type 1 diabetes isn’t currently preventable, three in five cases of Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by making healthier choices.
Local campaigner and member of Diabetes UK South Tyneside, Clare Allom said: “Latest figures we have for South Tyneside is that on average we have around 3,500 people living with the condition.
“While Type 1 can’t be currently prevented, Type 2 can with the right lifestyle choice and people being more active.
“Diabetes can be a serious condition which can kill, if left untreated or not controlled.
“For those with the condition, we do have a support group which provides, help, friendship and support.”
Almost nine in ten people diagnosed with diabetes have Type 2, and it is estimated that there are nearly 1 million people currently living with the condition who don’t know they have it.
Diabetes UK is now calling on the Government to take further action to tackle childhood obesity, by introducing stricter restrictions both on junk food advertising to children, and supermarket price promotions for unhealthy foods.
Stephen Ryan, Head of the North at Diabetes UK, said: “Unless we act, and urgently, diabetes prevalence will continue to rise. Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are serious conditions that can lead to devastating complications such as amputation, blindness, kidney disease, stroke and heart disease if people don’t receive the right care.
“Type 1 diabetes isn’t currently preventable, but three in five cases of Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed. We need to end the marketing of unhealthy food to children and make sure the food all of us eat is healthier.
“More people who are at high risk of Type 2 diabetes must be identified so that they can get the education, care and support they need to reduce their risk.
“We have to take action now so that we can live in a world where fewer people have diabetes in the future.”
For more information on Diabetes UK South Tyneside visit southtyneside.diabetesukgroup.org or call 427 7953
*People can check their own risk of developing Type 2 diabetes through the Know Your Risk online tool visit www.diabetes.org.uk