The number of people who are living with genetic disease has doubled in the past decade, as the number of diagnoses of disorders and deaths have soared, according to a new report.
In 2016, more than 6.3 million people in the UK were diagnosed with a genetic disease, up from 5.4 million in 2005, the Genetics Impact Factor (GIF) report found.
But the figure has doubled again in the same decade to 7.1 million in 2021.
The GIF data comes from the annual National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), which asked people how many times they had been diagnosed with any genetic disorder in the previous 12 months.
The results, published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, also revealed that the number with a mental health disorder increased by 7.4 per cent to more than 4.3million.
The study found that the GIF figures were similar across regions, though some areas have higher rates than others.
For example, the capital London saw a rise in the number diagnosed with mental health conditions in 2021 compared with the previous year, as did Yorkshire and the Humber.
Other findings showed that more people than ever were living with some form of mental health condition in 2021, up by more than 10 per cent from the previous two years.
People living with mental illness were most likely to have been diagnosed in the capital, where the NHS has seen a rapid rise in admissions of mental illness.
In addition, the report found that mental health was more common in rural areas, where rates were highest.
It is not clear why people living with a condition would be more likely to seek medical treatment, but it may be linked to the lack of social support.
The report found the highest prevalence of mental disorder was in people aged 65 and over, which has been linked to mental health issues in older people.
More people were diagnosed than ever before in 2021 in London, while the capital’s population increased by 6.2 per cent.
However, the number living with diabetes rose by almost 12 per cent, and people living in deprived areas were more likely than those living in wealthier areas to be diagnosed with an underlying health condition.
The NHS has warned that the new figures show the UK’s health system needs to improve.
Dr Helen Moles, senior medical adviser at the NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We have seen a big rise in people with a diagnosis of mental disorders and the NHS is working closely with GP surgeries to increase mental health support for those with mental disorders.”
The NHS is also taking a number of important steps to ensure that people living on low incomes are able to access support and access the services they need.
“The Gif data will be published online on Thursday (Wednesday, September 11) by the Institute for Fiscal Studies.