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What is type 2 diabetes?
People with diabetes have too much glucose (sugar) in their blood. There are 2 main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 2 diabetes is the most common: 9 out of 10 people who have diabetes have type 2 diabetes. It usually starts after the age of 40, but it can affect younger people as well. The body produces a hormone called insulin, which controls how much glucose is in the blood. In type 2 diabetes the body doesn't produce enough insulin, so blood glucose levels become too high.
People with type 2 diabetes have an increased risk of problems with their blood vessels and heart (cardiovascular disease). This means that they have an increased risk of having angina, a heart attack or a stroke, especially if they have high blood pressure and high cholesterol. People with type 2 diabetes also have an increased risk of other long‑term health problems. These include conditions affecting the eyes, feet, nerves and kidneys. If you have type 2 diabetes it is important to keep your blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible and to have a healthy lifestyle, to reduce this risk.