From 1997 to 2003, there was a 74 percent rise in the number of new cases of diabetes in the U.K., an alarming increase linked to growing obesity rates, say researchers who analyzed data from nearly five million medical records.
By 2005, more than 4 percent of the U.K. population had diabetes, nearly double the rate of a decade earlier, BBC News reported.
Of the more than 42,000 people newly diagnosed with diabetes between 1996 and 2005, more than 41,000 had later-onset type 2 diabetes, which is associated with unhealthy lifestyle habits.
The findings suggest that diabetes rates in the U.K. are rising faster than in the United States, which has one of the highest rates of diabetes in the world, BBC News reported.
The study appears in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.