Undiagnosed diabetes: prevalence, risks and solutions

29 June 2021
Acuity digital

What complications does undiagnosed diabetes cause, and what is the role of optometrists in detecting and preventing this condition? Kathy Oxtoby reports.

More than 4.9 million people in the UK are currently living with diabetes. An additional 13.6 million people are at an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in the UK, while 850,000 people are currently living with type 2 diabetes but are yet to be diagnosed. Cases of diabetes in the UK have doubled in the last 15 years (Diabetes UK, 2021a). 

Those identified as being at high risk of type 2 diabetes are sometimes referred to as having “pre-diabetes”. “This means that your blood sugar levels are higher than usual, but not high enough for you to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes,” says Natasha Marsland, Senior Clinical Adviser at Diabetes UK. But following a healthy diet and being active are just some of the steps people can take to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes from developing, she says.

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