GPs in Havering, Redbridge, Barking & Dagenham are encouraging people to reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, as part of a national campaign. Diabetes Prevention Week runs from 1 April and raises awareness of the disease, the causes and groups that might be at particular risk.
Every two minutes someone finds out that they have Type 2 diabetes, which can lead to very serious long-term health problems and even blindness, kidney failure or loss of a limb. Those who suffer from diabetes are also at least twice as likely to have a heart attack or stroke.
Anyone can develop Type 2 diabetes, however certain groups can be at increased risk:
- If you’re over the age of 40, or over the age of 25
- If you’re from a black or south Asian background
- If you have a close relative – such as a parent, brother or sister – with Type 2 diabetes
- If you’re overweight, especially around the middle, or if you’ve ever had high blood pressure.
Although there are certain factors that affect the chances of developing Type 2 diabetes, there is strong evidence to suggest maintaining a healthy lifestyle can delay or even prevent it. Those at risk may be able eligible for support through the Healthier You NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, which provides guidance on diet, weight and being more active, all of which can prevent or delay Type 2 diabetes.
Dr Anil Mehta, GP and Clinical Lead for Diabetes, Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said:
Anyone can find out their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes through the online ‘Know Your Risk Tool’ at https://riskscore.diabetes.org.uk/ and those over 40 can get a free NHS Health Check. If they are found to be at risk, they can be referred to the Healthier You programme through their GP.
You are also more at risk:
- If you’ve ever had a heart attack, stroke, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or depression, or are receiving treatment with anti-psychotic medication
- If you are a woman who has had polycystic ovarian syndrome, gestational diabetes, or given birth to a baby weighing over 10 pounds
Barking and Dagenham CCG have undertaken groundbreaking work to improve diabetes care and treatment which has seen the estimated number of undiagnosed diabetes cases in the borough fall from 1,642 in 2012-13 to 624 in 2017-18.
The work has seen the CCG shortlisted in the Diabetes Care Initiative of the Year category of the HSJ awards.