Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson joined volunteers from the International Diabetes Federation to raise awareness of the increasing prevalence of diabetes in the UK.
Diabetes, in particular type 2 diabetes, is a significant and growing health issue, affecting over 382 million people worldwide. The IDF believes that, unless action is taken, this could rise to 592 million within by 2035.
The International Diabetes Federation and its member organisations – which include Diabetes UK – are working to improve the political and public awareness of diabetes as a major disease and the critical interventions that are necessary to counter it and to ensure that people with diabetes receive the high quality treatment they need to avoid unnecessary
Around 3.2 million people have been diagnosed with diabetes in the UK, but it is estimated that a further 850,000 people may be living with the condition without realising it. This means that around one in 16 people in the UK are living with the disease – or approximately 6,230 people in the average constituency.
If diagnosed early, diabetes can be actively managed to help mitigate the serious consequences of the disease.
Bill Esterson had a diabetes test and met with healthcare professionals at a special event in Westminster to find out more about the disease.
Bill said: "With diabetes rates increasing across the country and around the world, I am pleased to support the International Diabetes Federation in raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of diabetes and complications such as cardiovascular disease, blindness, amputation and hypoglyceamia.
"Getting tested takes only a few minutes and could save you years of illness.
"If you are concerned about diabetes, talk to your GP or pharmacist about having a blood glucose test, as I did at the event in Westminster."
It i estimated in 2011, that £9 billion per year from the NHS budget was spent on diabetes.Factoring in loss of working days through hypoglycaemia, early death and informal care costs, the cost of the condition to the UK is projected to rise from £23.7 billion to £39.8 billion by 20357 unless action is taken now to address the impact of diabetes.
Sir Michael Hirst, President of the International Diabetes Federation said: “Diabetes is one of the most pressing health issues in the world today and we are pleased to have the support of MPs like Bill Esterson in raising awareness of the condition.
"Early detection of diabetes is essential in preventing complications like stroke and blindness.
"We hope that this event will help further raise awareness of the condition in the UK.”