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World Diabetes Day

The Healthy EmployeeDiabetes World Diabetes Day
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World Diabetes Day

It is no secret that diabetes prevalence is sharply on the rise, and with World Diabetes Day on 14th November, we wanted to bring some facts and figures to the forefront.

Diabetes means an increased risk of:

  • Heart failure
  • Amputation
  • Kidney failure
  • Blindness
  • Nerve damage
  • Gangrene
  • Stroke

Diabetes UK have stated that type 2 diabetes is particularly aggressive in younger people who are more likely to develop complications and respond poorly to treatment.


2017/18 diabetes figures and statistics:


  • £5billion annual UK bill
  • 1/6 of NHS budget
  • £3billion used to treat complications of diabetes such as kidney failure (can be avoided with better management of condition)
  • Average cost of 1 year of care for someone with type 2 diabetes is £1291, which is twice as much as a non-diabetic patient of £510
  • Approximately 30% of diabetic patients do not have well controlled blood sugar levels, leading to complications and costing hospitals £1billion per year


  • 7 million people in the UK have type 1 or 2 diabetes, projected to be 5.5 million in 11 years
  • The number of new cases of diabetes in England and Wales reached 202,665 in 2017 – the equivalent of 23 every hour
  • 1 in 8 new diabetes cases is a young adult
  • Another 12 million UK people are thought to be at risk of developing diabetes due to unhealthy lifestyles
  • 66% of adults in England are overweight, including 29% who are clinically obese – there is growing evidence that type 2 diabetes can be reversed if patients lose significant amounts of weight
  • The number of hospital patients treated by the NHS in England with diabetes has risen almost nine-fold since 2007, going from 80,914 to 710,562 in 2018
  • Currently 1 in 6 NHS beds have diabetic patients
  • 1 in 4 NHS beds could be taken up by diabetic patients by 2030

Better management of the disease is needed, which includes:

  • Stop smoking
  • Exercise more
  • Weight management

Did you want to know how you can decrease your risk of developing diabetes? Click here to find out – perhaps this would be useful to share around the workplace on World Diabetes Day?

Could your job increase your likelihood of a diabetes diagnosis?

Scientists studied almost five million employees in 30 occupations. The findings suggested that unhealthy lifestyle choices such as lack of exercise and smoking led to a dramatic risk increase of diagnosis.

Researchers stated that if employers provided guidance and support for their employees to live healthily, they estimate almost half of type 2 diabetes cases could be avoided.

The research was conducted from 2006-2015 and included five million employees aged over 35. Results stated that 4.2% of the working population had a diabetes diagnosis, but that this percentage varied dramatically depending on your job role.

Highest prevalence of type 2 diabetes



  • Manufacturing labourers – 6.42%
  • Cleaners – 5.09%
  • Kitchen assistants – 5.45%
  • Motor-vehicle drivers – 8.77%
  • Manufacturing labourers – 7.75%
  • Agricultural & mobile plant operators – 7.21%

In contrast with the above prevalence, male university teachers and female physiotherapists were found to have a 45% reduced risk.

Diabetes UK stated that it is important to point out that this does not suggest that manufacturing, driving or cleaning jobs directly increase your risk of developing diabetes, much more than sedentary jobs with little flexibility to take intermittent breaks are unhealthy in the long term.


Do you know your risk of type 2 diabetes? Find out here

The Healthy Employee
1 Comment

November 6, 2019 @ 10:12 am


Thanks for sharing this! Diabetes doesn’t get enough attention and many choose to ignore the statistics. It’s interesting to see that the most sedentary, low flexibility jobs are associated with a higher risk of diabetes. Thanks for sharing!

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