Essential facts, stats and quotes relating to diabetes

Published on: 14th August 2015 | Updated on: 28th March 2022

This page contains facts, stats and quotes that LPC members may find useful when writing business cases or developing resources to support the commissioning of a diabetes screening service or support service.

This page is ‘work in progress’ and will continue to be updated with new facts, stats and quotes.

Facts, stats and quotes on other topics can be accessed on the Essential facts, stats and quotes page.

NHS Digital – Prescribing for Diabetes, England – 2006/07 to 2016/17

  • Drugs used in diabetes (BNF section 6.1) now make up 11% of total primary care net ingredient cost and 4.7% of prescription items and accounts for the highest cost of any of the BNF sections listed.
  • In the financial year 2016/17, there were 52 million items prescribed for diabetes at a total net ingredient cost of £983.7 million. Up from 28.9 million prescription items and £572.4 million in 2006/07.
  • Prescription items for this therapeutic area account for £1 in every £9 spent on primary care prescriptions. In 2006/07 it was fewer than £1 in every £14.
  • Antidiabetic drugs (BNF section 6.1.2) make up 45.1% of the total £983.7 million net ingredient cost of drugs used in diabetes and accounts for 72% of prescription items for all diabetes prescribing.
  • The rate of increase is higher for drugs used in diabetes which has seen an 80.1% increase in terms of items and an 71.9% increase in terms of cost between 2006/07 and 2016/17 when compared to all primary care prescriptions.
  • The prevalence of diabetes in the population in England was 6.5% in 2015/16.

Diabetes UK – State of the nation – England challenges for 2015 and beyond (July 2016)

  • Five million people in England are at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
  • In current trends persist, one in three people will be obese by 2034 and one in ten will develop Type 2 diabetes.
  • It is currently estimated that the NHS spends about £10 billion on diabetes every year. This is 10% of the NHS budget.
  • The total cost (direct care and indirect costs) associated with diabetes in the UK currently stands at £23.7 billion. This figure is predicted to rise to £39.8 billion by 2035/2036.

Diabetes UK – facts and stats (November 2015)

  • It is estimated that more than one in 16 people in the UK has diabetes (diagnosed or undiagnosed).
  • There are 4 million people living with diabetes in the UK.
  • It is estimated that there are around 549,000 people in the UK who have diabetes but have not been diagnosed.
  • Since 1996, the number of people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK has more than doubled from 1.4 million to almost 3.5 million.
  • By 2025, it is estimated that five million people will have diabetes in the UK.
  • Audits suggest that about 56% of all adults with diabetes in the UK are men and 44% are women.
  • It is estimated that:
    • 10% of people with diabetes have Type 1 diabetes; and
    • 90% of people with diabetes have Type 2 diabetes.

NHS Choices, Diabetes: cases and costs predicted to rise (April 2012)

By 2035 it is predicted that the cost of treating diabetes alone will reach £16.9 billion per year.

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