London, Sept 30: British experts have revealed that there has been a steep rise in the number of people suffering from diseases caused by notorious lifestyles like poor diet, lack of exercise, and increase in alcohol consumption in the past five years.

The figures released by the Information Centre, a body responsible for National Health Service (NHS) data, on Friday reveal that levels of diabetes have more than doubled in the last five years.

The data also indicates more than one third rise in the number of people suffering from high blood pressure in the same period.

While the number of people with epilepsy has increased by 15.6 per cent in the last five years, incidences of heart disease have risen by 6.2 per cent.

A report in the Telegraph says that the rise in some of the diseases can be attributed to better screening and an ageing population.

Various charities blame unhealthy diets and insufficient exercise for the increase in illness rates among large sections of the population, reports the newspaper.

According to the Department of Health, 21.2 per cent of men and 21.5 per cent of women are now classified as obese.

The newspaper report also suggests that the diabetes epidemic is being driven mainly by the increase in Type 2 diabetes, the form of the disease that is linked to poor diet and lack of exercise.