Speaking at the Diabetes UK annual professional conference in Glasgow last week, Dr Roberts said that although prevalence is expected to increase over the next three years, so will detection rates.
By 2010, around 5.05 per cent of the population will have diabetes, compared with the current estimate of 4.75 per cent. Dr Roberts said obesity would fuel 60 per cent of this rise and ageing 40 per cent.
'Even though there will be more cases, we will get 87-90 per cent of the people,' she told GP. This would leave about 360,000 people undiagnosed.
Quality framework figures from 2005/6 suggest that GPs registered around 75 per cent of diabetes cases, compared with 67 per cent in 2001.
Dr Roberts said she was 'fairly confident' of her prediction 'because of the ongoing systems that are in place because of the quality framework, the campaign to the public by Diabetes UK, and it will be part of the growing discussion on cardiovascular risk in general'.
However, in order for care to improve for patients with diabetes, commissioning must be stronger to prevent specialist skills being lost, said Dr Roberts.