People in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes have been urged to check their individual risk of type 2 diabetes, as Diabetes Awareness Month (November) draws to a close.
The NHS in the local area can offer residents believed to be at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes the opportunity to participate in the Healthier You diabetes prevention programme, which provides tailored, personalised advice and support to reduce the risk of developing the condition, which is thought by the Diabetes UK charity to affect more than five million people in the UK today.
By learning about the importance of modest lifestyle changes, including specialist nutrition, psychology and physical activity to promote long term behaviour change, the programme is proven to help prevent diabetes.
It takes just a couple of minutes to complete the short series of questions and get a risk calculation. If someone is at an increased risk, they will be advised to contact their GP practice which can offer further advice and referrals to the free NHS prevention programme.
The risk checker is available to everyone and can be found online at:
preventing-diabetes.co.uk/locations/bedfordshire-luton-and-milton-keynes, or type “Healthier You NHS” into your preferred search engine.
Dr Sarah Whiteman, chief medical director at Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Integrated Care Board, said:
“If we are to help people live longer lives in good health, it’s important they have access to information on how they can prevent disease and access local health and care services to support them.
“Risk factors are very individual, and a combination of these can place you at much higher risk. These include being older, being overweight, having a family history of diabetes, and having had high blood pressure.
“But your vulnerability to these risk factors is different, depending on your ethnic background. People of South Asian, Black African and Black Caribbean heritage are more likely to have type 2 diabetes, so I would particularly encourage anyone from those communities to check their risk.
“Left untreated, diabetes can cause serious health problems, but it is treatable. Small changes to your lifestyle can make a big difference.”