5 million at risk of type-2 diabetes
Around 1 in 10 adults in England are at risk of developing type-2 diabetes, according to a new report from Public Health England.
It looks at the number of people aged over 16 with high blood sugar levels - known as non-diabetic hyperglycaemia - that could lead to type-2 diabetes.
It estimates this figure could be as high as 5 million in England alone.
Type-2 diabetes currently causes 22,000 early deaths every year, costing the NHS around £8.8 billion.
Obesity could be to blame
Already 2.9 million people have been diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes, with the rise in obesity levels thought to be one of the key drivers.
The local authority with most people at risk (14%) emerged as Harrow, compared to Brighton and Hove, where 8.5% were adjudged to be at risk.
Risk levels were highest for people with obesity and regions with large ethnic minority or older populations.
New prevention programme
Another study found that encouraging people to lose weight can reduce the risk of their high sugar levels developing into type-2 diabetes, by as much as 26%.
Following the PHE report, an NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme is to be launched focusing on healthy eating, exercise and weight loss.
The 9-month programme will target those at risk by looking at existing blood test results, or through NHS health checks.
Duncan Selbie, chief executive of PHE, says people can prevent the development of the disease but need help to do so.
The PHE report follows new guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence on managing diabetes in adults and children.
The guidelines call for same-day referrals of children and young people with suspected type-1 diabetes to a specialist team.
It also wants better care to help reduce the risk of foot amputation in people with diabetes.