Around 9 per cent of the adult population in England now have diabetes, according to new data from Public Health England.
The new Diabetes Prevalence Model, produced by the PHE National Cardiovascular Intelligence Network estimates that the 3.8 million adults have type 1 or type 2 diabetes in England, but that 90 per cent of cases are type 2.
The model suggests that one in four people with diabetes, an estimated 940,000, are unaware of their condition.
John Newton, Chief Knowledge Officer at PHE, said: "Based on current population trends, by 2035 4.9 million people will have diabetes. Type 2 diabetes currently costs the NHS £8.8 billion each year and tackling the rise in the disease is vital to the sustainable future of the health service."
To help tackle the problem, the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme was launched by PHE, NHS England and Diabetes UK earlier this year. The programme, now available to nearly half the country, helps those at high risk of type 2 diabetes to reduce their risk of developing the condition, by offering them a referral to an improved diet, weight loss and increased physical activity programme. By 2020, up to 100,000 people will have access to these services each year.
Chris Askew, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said: "We urge people over 40 to attend their NHS Health Check when invited. We also want people to take the necessary steps to find out their risk of developing type 2 diabetes, such as using Diabetes UK’s online Know Your Risk tool."