Diabetes Prevention Week - 1-7 April 2019

Know your risk of Type 2 diabetes

Norfolk and Waveney residents are being encouraged to know their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, as part of Diabetes Prevention Week.

Diabetes Prevention Week runs from 1-7 April 2019, and the focus of the week is #PreventingType2. There are two main types of diabetes – Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is far more common than type 1.

In the UK, around 90% of all adults with diabetes have Type 2. There are 3.8 million people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK, and this figure has more than doubled in the last 20 years. In Norfolk and Waveney, around 60,000 people are living with Type 2 diabetes and many more are likely to be at risk.

Type 2 diabetes risk factors:

• Age. The older you are, the more at risk you are.
• Family history. You’re two to six times more likely to get Type 2 diabetes if you have a parent, brother, sister or child with diabetes
• Ethnicity. You’re more likely to get Type 2 diabetes if you’re Chinese, South Asian, African-Caribbean or Black-African
• Weight. You’re more at risk if you’re overweight, especially if you’re large around the middle
• Blood pressure. You’re more at risk if you’ve ever had high blood pressure.

Anyone can find out if they are at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by visiting www.diabetes.org.uk/knowyourrisk

Dr Clare Hambling, a GP and West Norfolk CCG’s clinical lead for diabetes, said: “It is very important that you find out if you are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes because then you can get support to lower your risk. Using Diabetes UK’s online tool to measure your risk takes just a couple of minutes, and you can be sent useful tips on reducing your risk.

“If you think you might be at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, visit your GP practice. You may be eligible to join the Healthier You NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme. This programme is in place across Norfolk and Waveney, and supports you to make changes to your weight if appropriate, your levels of physical activity, and your diet. You will get advice from professionals and be able to talk to other people using the Healthier You service. We know making changes can be tough, but with our support you can take control of your health and significantly reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.”

Shelley Ames, Inactivity and Health Development Manager at Active Norfolk, said: “Being physically active can reduce your chances of developing Type 2 diabetes by as much as 40%. Reducing time spent sitting and taking regular exercise helps to lower blood pressure and manage weight, which all help cut the risk of developing diabetes. Finding ways to incorporate activity into your day, from simple things like taking the stairs where possible, brisk walking, through to taking up aerobic and strength building exercises, can make a real difference.”

Rebecca Jones, East of England Improving Care Manager for Diabetes UK, said: “Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition and it is on the rise. There are 12.3 million people at risk of Type 2 diabetes, but it could be delayed or prevented by healthy eating, being more active and losing weight if overweight.

“The dramatic increase in obesity rates is the main driver behind the rise in Type 2 diabetes. Three in five adults in England are overweight or obese, and while not every case of Type 2 diabetes is caused by excessive weight, it is the single greatest risk factor for the developing the condition.

“We urge people people over 40 to get an NHS Health Check and advise everyone to find out their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes with our Know Your Risk tool.”