Back to news


Men are more likely to get diabetes than women

During Men’s Health Week, NHS Southwark CCG wants to raise awareness of the risk to men of developing diabetes and encourage them to get advice and support as soon as they develop any symptoms. Men also need to understand that obesity is the main underlying cause of diabetes and that by taking action to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle, then can reduce the likelihood of developing diabetes.

Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person's blood sugar level to become too high. There are two main types of diabetes:
  • Type 1 diabetes – where the body's immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin
  • Type 2 diabetes – where the body doesn't produce enough insulin, or the body's cells don't react to insulin

Type 2 diabetes is far more common than type 1. In the UK, around 90% of all adults with diabetes have type 2. The more people are aware of it, the more likely they are to make healthy changes and stop or delay the onset of diabetes. Currently in the UK, one-in-five men die before the age of 65 and experts says many of the deaths are preventable. These statistics could be due to men’s reluctance to see their GP with ailments that may be symptoms of the disease.

Dr Jonty Heaversedge of Southwark CCG said: “Ill health is significantly higher among males than females and a lot of that can be traced back to men simply not being proactive with their health and care. It is important that men in Southwark are actively engaged in their health and wellbeing, while maintaining a balanced diet and frequent exercise to prevent diabetes.”

It is important that men visit their GP if they notice any of the following symptoms or have any other concerns about their health: 
  • feeling very thirsty
  • urinating more frequently than usual, particularly at night
  • feeling very tired
  • weight loss and loss of muscle bulk
  • itching around the penis or vagina, or frequent episodes of thrush
  • cuts or wounds that heal slowly
  • blurred vision