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Type 2 Diabetes Prevalence Increasing in United Kingdom

Treatment patterns have also shifted from sulphonylureas to metformin

FRIDAY, Feb. 27 (HealthDay News) -- In the United Kingdom, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes increased from 2.8 percent in 1996 to 4.3 percent in 2005, according to a report published online Feb. 24 in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Elvira L. Masso Gonzalez, of the Spanish Centre for Pharmacoepidemiological Research in Madrid, Spain, and colleagues analyzed data on 49,999 prevalent cases and 42,642 incident cases of diabetes among patients aged 10 to 79 years, and diagnosed between 1996 and 2005. Of the incident cases, 41,386 cases were type 2 diabetes, while 1,256 cases were type 1 diabetes.

In 2005 the incidence of diabetes was 4.42 per 1,000 person-years, versus 2.71 in 1996, with type 2 diabetes accounting for the bulk of the increase, the investigators found. Whereas 46 percent of new type 2 diabetes diagnoses in 1996 were among obese patients, by 2005 the proportion rose to 56 percent, the researchers note. Treatment trends also changed, with more use of metformin and less use of sulphonylureas.

"Our results suggest that, although the incidence of diabetes remains lower in the United Kingdom than in the United States or Canada, it appears to be increasing at a faster pace," the authors write. "Further research is needed to clarify the potential links between the rising incidence of diabetes and the rising incidence of obesity because changing criteria over time could have influenced our findings."

The study was funded by AstraZeneca R&D, Molndal, Sweden.

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