The number of people in the UK with type 2 diabetes has tripled over the last 20 years, a study has shown.
Cardiff University researchers attributed the rise to better diagnosis of the disease and a doubling in the percentage of people in the UK who are classified as obese.
The findings, published in Diabetic Medicine and based on data collected by GP services in the UK between 1991 and 2010, also showed a significant increase in life expectancy for people with the disease.
The study revealed that type 2 diabetes rates were higher in men above the age of 40 than in women, while the numbers of male and female sufferers under 40 was broadly the same.
An estimated 4.5m people live with diabetes in the UK and more than 90% of those affected have type 2 diabetes.
Between 1993 and 2010, the number of obese men in the UK jumped from 13% to 26% and from 16% to 26% for women.
Professor Craig Currie, research fellow at Cardiff University’s School of Medicine said: ‘The number of people with type 2 diabetes in the UK has gone from 700,000 to around 2.8m over two decades, and it continues to increase.
‘We are also seeing increased life expectancy from the disease which could be due to earlier diagnosis of the condition as well as drugs such as blood pressure tablets and statins for blood cholesterol.’