Long Term Monitoring of Health Inequalities: Headline Indicators – October 2015

Annual update of the 'Long-term Monitoring of Health Inequalities' headline indicators.

This document is part of a collection

Prevalence of Type 2 diabetes

Indicator Source: Scottish Diabetes Survey

Latest Results

  • At the end of 2015, there were 284,122 people diagnosed with diabetes in Scotland recorded on local diabetes registers. This represented 5.3% of the population.
  • Of all cases, 88.3% (250,881) were Type 2 diabetes.
  • Prevalence of Type 2 diabetes continues to increase steadily[6]. There were 17,051 new cases of Type 2 diabetes in 2015 and 69,290 since 2012.
  • In 2015, 31.5% of patients with a recorded BMI and Type 2 diabetes were overweight (BMI 25-30) and a further 55.7% were obese (BMI 30+).

Figure 5: Number of people with a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis, 2001-2015

About This Indicator

Desired Outcome:

Reduced mortality in obesity related disease.


Breakdowns by gender and age are included in the survey. Ethnic group is collected by the survey but subject to variable response rates and may require several years of data to be combined. Breakdowns by religion, disability and sexual orientation are not available.

Geography available:

National, Health Board from 2009.

Rationale for including this indicator:

The aim of this indicator is to monitor changes in the proportion of Scotland's population who have Type 2 diabetes. The Scottish Public Health Observatory estimates that almost half of Type 2 diabetes can be attributed to obesity. Diabetes is an important cause of disability and increases the risk of coronary heart disease and other health problems. Complications associated with diabetes include peripheral vascular disease (foot ulcers), which can in turn lead to amputation and diabetic retinopathy- the commonest cause of blindness in working age people. Those with poor glucose control are at increased risk of developing complications.

Type 2 diabetes is more common in deprived areas, and becomes much more common with increasing age. Overweight and obesity are also important risk factors: the risk of Type 2 diabetes is around ten times higher among those with a BMI over 30 compared to those with a BMI under 30.

Factors influencing this indicator:

  • Poor diet (specifically excess energy intake), low levels of physical activity, and the resulting increase in levels of obesity.


Email: Craig Kellock

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