THE Cardiff and Vale University Health Board has the lowest rate of diabetes across Wales, as announced by Diabetes UK Cymru.

The Vale has 6.1 per cent of its residents living with diabetes, while Wales as a whole has 7.4 per cent – the highest rate of any region in the UK, which is 6.8 per cent overall.

The number of people diagnosed with diabetes in Wales has risen from 191,590 to 194,693 in the last year. This number is predicted to rise to more than 311,000 by 2030.

There are also more than 61,000 people in Wales living with Type 2 diabetes, who don’t know they have it because they haven’t been diagnosed.

This brings the total number living with diabetes in Wales up to 255,781.

By 2030 it is predicted this number will rise to more than 311,000.

The dramatic increase in obesity rates is the main driver behind so many more people living with Type 2 diabetes. Public Health Wales states that around 60 per cent of adults in Wales are overweight or obese.

While not every case of Type 2 diabetes is caused by excessive weight, it is the single greatest risk factor for developing the condition.

Age, family history, and ethnicity can also contribute to someone’s risk, with people of African-Caribbean, Black African, or South Asian descent two to four times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than white people. Many cases of Type 2 diabetes could be prevented or delayed by healthy eating, being more active, and losing weight if overweight.

The symptoms, which involve going to the toilet a lot, being thirsty, feeling more tired than usual and losing weight without trying, can be easy to miss especially in the early stages. The condition can go undetected for years, and by the time of diagnosis one in three people already have complications with their eyes, feet, kidneys or nerves.

With 588,490 people in Wales at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, Diabetes UK Cymru wants to raise awareness of the risk factors so people can take steps to look after their health and prevent or delay the onset of the condition and serious complications.

Dai Williams, national director, Diabetes UK Cymru, said: “Diabetes is Wales’ biggest and fastest-growing health crisis.

It costs the NHS in Wales over a £1 billion a year, the majority of which is spent on treating largely preventable complications.

“We urge everyone to find out their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes with the Know your Risk tool.”

To find out your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, go to