Lancashire and South Cumbria residents are being urged to eat healthily and be more active in order to help reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes during Diabetes Prevention Week (16-22 April 2018).
It is estimated that around 130,000 people in the region 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.
Diabetes and its complications cost over £6 billion every year to treat and one in six patients in hospital has diabetes. Around nine out of 10 people with diabetes have Type 2 diabetes which is closely linked to obesity and yet is largely preventable by eating healthily, being more active and losing weight.
GPs and other healthcare professionals in the area are using Diabetes Prevention Week, which starts today, to urge residents to find out if they are at risk and take action to improve their future health.
The NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme is a free local service for those who are at risk of type 2 diabetes. The Programme is designed to stop or delay the onset of the disease through a range of personalised lifestyle interventions, including education on lifestyle choices, advice on how to reduce weight through healthier eating and bespoke physical activity programmes.
Nearly 4000 people have already been referred onto the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme in Lancashire and South Cumbria, with over 46% of people taking up the offer. The programme enhances a range of public health initiatives aimed at improving health and wellbeing and reducing the risk of developing diabetes.
Dr Kieran Murphy, Medical Director, NHS England (Lancashire and South Cumbria) said, “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, this is why it is such positive news that the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme is available for all those living in Lancashire and South Cumbria.”
“We are delighted with the results that we are seeing locally thanks to the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme.”
Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, Lancashire County Council Director for Public Health, said: “Preventing diabetes is a key priority in Lancashire and South Cumbria. Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition which is affecting many people but that is also largely preventable.”
“Organisations are working in partnership across Lancashire and South Cumbria to put people in control of their health by giving them the tools, information and support they need to make changes to their lifestyles that can significantly reduce their risk of the disease and the potential complications associated with it like stroke and kidney failure.”
Local activity also plans to raise awareness of high risk groups, which includes those from certain ethnic backgrounds including South Asian, Black African and Black Caribbean.
You can check to see if you are at risk of type 2 diabetes at diabetes.org.uk/risk.