Only a small percentage of the UK public are aware of how life-changing diabetes can be, a survey shows.
Figures reveal there are 169 amputations each week because of diabetes, and people with diabetes are 32% more likely to die prematurely than people who do not have the condition.
In total, 12.3 million people in UK are at increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
However, a survey of 1,000 people by Walnut Unlimited found a lack of awareness about the condition.
Only 2% of people spontaneously said a stroke was a complication of diabetes, 4% said kidney damage and 6% said heart disease.
Despite amputation and sight loss being prevalent diabetes complications, only one in four people (25%) said, unprompted, that they were linked to diabetes.
Furthermore, no one spontaneously knew diabetes could cause problems in pregnancy, only 2% knew diabetes could lead to a shorter life span and only 4% knew it could lead to early death.
Analysis by Diabtes UK shows that the number of people being diagnosed with diabetes has more than doubled in the last 20 years. It now affects more people than any other serious health condition in the UK – more than dementia and cancer combined.
Chris Askew, the charity’s chief executive, said it is vital people with diabetes receive the right support from their healthcare teams to help them identify any early signs of a complication.
“Many complications can be prevented or delayed so it’s incredibly important that people with diabetes are vigilant and contact their GP as soon as possible if they have any concerns,” he added.