Health - Diabetes

Diabetes has also been reported as being more common in men than women with Bangladeshis and Pakistanis having higher rates compared to other ethnicities and the general population.

Diabetes is a long-term condition where the body is unable to break down the glucose, therefore resulting in high levels of 'blood sugar' in the body, known as hyperglycaemia. The body produces a hormone called insulin which helps the body to convert glucose into energy. In diabetics this hormone is absent or very little is produced. Hyperglycaemia which is associated with damage and possible failure of many organs such as the eyes, kidneys, heart etc. It is known as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Diabetes has been defined as “self-reported doctor-diagnosed diabetes” in the report.3

There are 2 types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes is when there is no insulin produced, also known as 'insulin dependent' diabetes as insulin injections will have to be taken for life. Type 2 diabetes is when there is not enough insulin produced for it to function properly, which can be controlled through diet initially. It is a progressive condition therefore type 2 diabetics may eventually need to take insulin medication, usually as tablets. Type 2 is more common amongst the South Asian community and in the general population accounting for 90% of all diabetes and is when not enough insulin is being produced. Type 2 is also more prevalent in the 40s.

Diabetes is common in South Asian communities by more than 50% of the general population in both men and women. The overall picture shows that men have higher rates than women with Pakistanis being the exception.

This chart shows that men and women aged 55+ have the highest rates of diabetes with Pakistanis faring the worst, approximately 75% more than the general population.

© Crown Copyright. Source data has been derived from ONS Census 2001, unless otherwise stated.