Diabetes is a major public health concern, with the prevalence having increased greatly over the last three decades. It is a cause of serious morbidity and significant premature mortality, both in its own right and as a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases (CVD), which include coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke and peripheral vascular disease.

There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes results from an autoimmune destruction of the cells in the pancreas which produce insulin and it isn't linked to age or being overweight or obese. People with Type 1 diabetes must take daily injections of insulin for survival. 

Type 2 diabetes, which accounts for about 90% of all diabetes, is characterised by an inability on the part of the body to respond to insulin (insulin resistance) and/or abnormal insulin secretion. It is often linked with being overweight or obese. People with Type 2 diabetes are more likely to be treated with lifestyle changes (eating well, exercising and losing weight) and glucose lowering medication.

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a massive impact on people and their health. This includes later presentation with non-Covid-19 symptoms for investigation, cancellations to appointments and longer waits to see specialists. Some people may also be reluctant to address concerns or attend GP practices due to fear of catching Covid-19. These missed diagnoses mean that treatment may be delayed or doesn't happen.

People with diabetes are not at an increased risk of catching Covid-19 but may be at risk of more severe illness. While evidence suggests mitigating risk from Covid-19 through promoting a healthy lifestyle and engaging with vaccination/booster programmes, these approaches may not be accessible or achievable for all, for many reasons. The full effects of the virus will likely be seen in future data releases. For current data on cases and deaths, please see the Government's Coronavirus page. 

Key findings

  • The prevalence of diabetes in the Lancashire-12 area is estimated to be 7.5% which is in the middle quintile for England, for England the estimated prevalence is 7.5%. Recent trend data shows that the prevalence is increasing regionally and nationally.
  • The prevalence in Blackburn with Darwen (9.3%) and Blackpool (9%) is in the highest quintile in England (all people aged 17 and over, 2022/23)
  • For children and young people (aged under 19) the rate of admissions for diabetes is significantly higher in Lancashire-12 (69 per 100,000) compared to England (52.4). Blackburn with Darwen (71.1) and Blackpool (67.1) are similar (2022/23).
  • In Lancashire, the rate of 0-9 years admissions (44.6) is worse than England (32.5) as is the rate for 10 to 18 years (L12=97.2 vs E=73.3)

The estimated diabetes diagnosis percentage is defined as the observed number of people with a formal diagnosis of diabetes as a proportion of the estimated number in a population with diabetes. The higher the percentage, the closer the gap between those with a diagnosis and those expected to have diabetes. The lower the percentage, the more likely people are to be undiagnosed and be at risk of further health complications. The latest data for estimated diagnosis percentages is from 2018 and therefore may not reflect the current situation in Lancashire.

  • The Lancashire-12 area (78.2%) is statistically similar to England (78.0%) for the estimated diabetes diagnosis rate (persons, 17+ years) (2018).
  • At a district level, Fylde (67.4%), Ribble Valley (67.6%), Chorley (73.0%) and Wyre (74.2%) have significantly lower rates than England, while Preston (88.5%), Hyndburn (87.1%), Burnley (83.9%) and Pendle (83.8%) are significantly higher. 
  • For the two unitary authorities, Blackburn with Darwen (82.3%) is significantly higher, while there is no difference for Blackpool (79.4%). 

For additional county and unitary data and further information please see below. Please select the geography type to see what indicators are available as not all are provided across the different footprints.

If the area has defaulted to 'Counties & UAs in North East region', click on the down arrowhead next to 'Geography', select 'Region' and then 'North West'. This is an issue which is not within our control, apologies. 

Page updated May 2024