Thousands work to prevent diabetes
MORE than 8,000 people across Cheshire and Merseyside have joined an NHS diabetes prevention initiative.
The announcement was made to mark World Diabetes Day.
Health and care organisations across the region celebrated the success of the flagship programme which the NHS says is helping to prevent type 2 diabetes.
The national programme, a partnership between NHS England, Public Health England and Diabetes UK, is a free initiative available to people who are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
It offers tailored help to support people to reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes including education on lifestyle choices.
It is said to be the first ever nationwide type 2 diabetes prevention programme and the largest undertaking of its kind in the world for those at risk of the disease.
The NHS says: “These figures are being released to further increase awareness of the risk that diabetes poses to people living in the region.
“It is estimated that nearly 200,000 people are currently at risk of developing type 2 diabetes which can lead to other serious conditions including strokes, heart disease, limb amputation and early death.”
Prof Sarah O’Brien, the region’s diabetes chief, said, “The national diabetes prevention programme has already had a significant impact on the health of communities across Cheshire and Merseyside.
We know that many people are at high risk of pre-diabetes but are probably completely unaware of it. This is because the condition often develops gradually without any warning signs or symptoms.”
One in six patients in hospital are said to have diabetes and around nine out of 10 people with diabetes have type 2, which is closely linked to obesity and yet is largely preventable by making simple lifestyle changes around diet, activity levels and weight management.
Clare Howarth at Diabetes UK explains that diabetes can be caused by a variety of factors, some of which are out of people’s control.
“However we know three in five cases of type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by making healthier choices, helping everyone understand their own risk of developing the condition − and how to reduce it − and securing early diagnosis for those at high risk,” she said.
Dr Kieran Murphy, NHS medical director for Cheshire and Merseyside said: “We are calling on all of those who are at risk of developing diabetes to speak to their GP practice around taking part in the programme.”
He believes there is evidence that taking part in the initiative can help all the family become more fit and healthy.
A nurse gives a patient a diabetes test