Figure show 12,000 rise in pre-diabetes

Figure show 12,000 rise in pre-diabetes

5 June 2024

SHOCK new figures have revealed that almost 12,000 people across the South Eastern Trust area are registered with pre-diabetes.

The condition is diagnosed when a person’s blood sugars are higher than usual, but not high enough for them to be confirmed with type 2 diabetes.

Province-wide, the number of people diagnosed with pre-diabetes has risen by 11.4%, from 66,000 to 73,500, with a new Department of Health report which takes into account patients aged 17 and above, highlighting an increase in the number of registered with diabetes across the five healthcare Trusts. 

Registered cases of the condition have increased from just under 112,000 to almost 115,000 over the past 12 months. 

In the local trust area, almost 20,400 people are registered as diabetic.

So-called prevalence reporting has been in place for approximately 20 years, with the 2023/2024 figures highlighting that diabetes diagnoses have more than doubled since then. Pre-diabetes prevalence reporting was first introduced in last year’s report, indicating that 66,000 people were registered with pre-diabetes at that time. 

Roxanne Small, Diabetes UK Northern Ireland interim national director, described the new figures as “significant” as they reveal that nearly 200,000 people are living with, or at risk of diabetes in Northern Ireland. 

She said the charity’s work provides an insight into how incredibly tough and relentless the condition is and how it can have a huge impact on a person’s life.

“It is vitally important that people are aware of the resources and support available to help manage their health and wellbeing,” she said.

“Whilst the reporting of pre-diabetes cases is relatively new for Northern Ireland, the increase we’ve seen over the last year is considerable 

and strongly believe that greater awareness and reporting across the region have played a strong role in this rise. 

“Pre-diabetes has been a real topic of conversation when speaking with the public as they are keen to understand more about it and how they may be able to reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.”

It is unlikely for people with prediabetes to experience any of the traditional diabetes symptoms including using the toilet more often, tiredness, losing weight and increase thirst levels.

Roxanne said the charity understands that for some people it may feel that a pre-diabetes diagnosis means that type 2 diabetes is certain, however, she explained this is not always the case. 

“While you may be at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, many people can reduce their risk, and it may be possible to prevent or delay the condition from developing,” she revealed.

For more information about the support offered by Diabetes UK Northern Ireland visit or email  The dedicated helpline team that can be reached on 0345 123 2399.