NUMBERS of people suffering from diabetes in Kirklees went up by 5,700 in just 12 months, the latest figures reveal.

In 2009, 4.2% of people aged 17 years and over in Kirklees had diabetes.

But by 2010, this had risen to 5.6% – a 1.4% increase and 5,700 extra cases in 12 months.

The condition can lead to severe complications such as kidney failure, limb amputations and stroke.

A spokesman for primary care trust, NHS Kirklees, said: “Diabetes is one of the biggest health challenges facing people living in the UK.

“It is estimated that by 2030, up to one in ten of the population will have it.

“In Kirklees, diabetes is increasing because of rising obesity levels, an aging and a growing population.”

He added: “Diabetes occurrence is higher in areas experiencing deprivation. It is known that people from Asian and black and minority ethnic groups are more likely to have diabetes and develop the condition at younger ages.

“Being obese also increases the likelihood of developing diabetes.”

Statistics issued by NHS Kirklees revealed that almost one quarter of people living in Kirklees are classed as obese, which is one of the main factors causing obesity.

In 2009/10 there were a total of 18,059 people aged 17 years and over diagnosed with diabetes in Kirklees.

Diabetes care in Kirklees is currently undergoing a review and redesign to try and improve support and education for sufferers.

Statistics show that only two per cent of diabetics attend education sessions in Kirklees, compared with a national average of 11%

Two per cent of all Kirklees diabetes hospital admissions result in limb amputation. Diabetics aged between 20 and 79 are twice as likely as people without the condition to die.

The NHS Kirklees spokesman added: “The redesigned service will provide high quality care closer to home and reduce the risk of complications of diabetes. It will also allow for early identification of those at high risk of developing diabetes.

“A screening programme for high risk patients is currently being developed in ‘deprived’ areas of Kirklees and GP practices are expected to screen those people most at risk.”

He added: “Self care is the foundation of good diabetic control.”

Locally, the figures reflect the national picture.

The National Diabetes Audit 2010, the biggest survey of its kind ever carried out in England and Wales, showed that diabetes is on the increase, particularly among younger people.

Some 144,000 children and younger adults who suffer from diabetes have dangerously high levels of blood sugar.