Almost a quarter of a million people in Scotland now have diabetes, new figures have revealed.
Statistics published in the annual Scottish Diabetes Survey show that the number of people with the condition has continued to increase by about 10,000 a year.
A total of 247,278 people now have diabetes - almost 5% of the population.
The majority of these people, some 217,500, have type 2 diabetes, a form of the disease which can be caused by an unhealthy lifestyle and which is also more common among older people.
Public health minister Michael Matheson said: "Diabetes is a growing problem for Scotland - around £300m of hospital expenditure relates to diabetes treatment and the management of its complications."
Chief medical officer Sir Harry Burns said: "The Scottish Diabetes Survey published today highlights the increasing number of people with diabetes that is directly related to the ageing of the population and unhealthy lifestyle factors such as obesity."
A total of 55.4% of those with type 2 diabetes whose body mass index had been recorded were classed as being obese, while 31.7% were overweight.
Sir Harry stressed the need to focus on preventing the disease by tackling the underlying factors which can put people at risk for developing diabetes, saying: "Stopping smoking, eating better and taking regular exercise is something we can all do to make sure we are as healthy as possible."
Diabetes is a long-term health condition where the amount of glucose in the blood is too high.
If left untreated it can cause many different health problems, as large amounts of glucose can damage blood vessels, nerves and organs.
A new online resource — MyDiabetesMyWay — has been developed to help diabetics manage their condition more effectively.
In what is said to be a world first, the interactive website will allow sufferers to view their latest clinic results online, along with treatment advice.
A campaign is being run together with Diabetes UK to raise awareness of the new website.
Mr Matheson said: "Now everyone living with diabetes in Scotland has the opportunity to view their own clinical diabetes data online. And by having access to the right information, people can be supported to self-manage and radically reduce the risk of developing complications and serious health problems.
"I would strongly encourage people living with diabetes to sign up and see for themselves how this valuable resource can support them to self-manage their condition. Not only will this mean they can live longer, healthier lives, it will also protect NHS resources."
Jane-Claire Judson, the director of Diabetes UK, said the "relentless rise" in the number of people with the disease showed that "diabetes deserves immediate attention as a major public health concern".
She added: "Meeting the challenge of diabetes requires the NHS, government and society overall to take action to improve our nation's health, and together we need to ensure that those already diagnosed have the best support and care available."
For more information on diabetes, visit the STV Health Centre, brought to you by NHS inform.