Brent is the diabetes capital not only of London, but the whole of England and in the next 20 years the problem will get much worse, according to Public Health England.
By 2035 there will be an additional 12,327 sufferers in the borough, placing huge pressure on local health services. There are currently 30,231 people with diabetes in the area, up by 679 on last year. Some 11.5% of all the people living in Brent have the condition, which is far above the national rate of 8.6%. And forecasts by PHE, a government agency, show that by 2020 the rate will have gone up to 12.0% and in 2035 will reach 13.6%.
The agency based its predictions on health surveys carried out over three years and focused on people over the age of 16. PHE says that around 90% of the new cases will be Type 2 diabetes, which is caused by lifestyle factors and linked to obesity. It says these cases are preventable and tackling the problem is fundamental to the future of the health service.
The increased prevalence of the condition coincides with a rise in the population of the capital in the coming decades. There will be 895,489 diabetes sufferers across London’s 33 boroughs by 2035, 4.8% of them will live in Brent.
Diabetes is caused by the inability of the body to regulate the amount of sugar in the blood. It is associated with an increased risk of stroke and heart attack. Sufferers may also develop kidney disease and foot ulcers, which can lead to amputation.