People across North East Hampshire and Farnham are being encouraged to do their part during Diabetes Prevention Week (April 1-7) to prevent themselves and others developing the condition.
More than 200,000 people are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes each year, increasing their risk of heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and amputation.
Health leaders are urging local people to learn more about the condition to help them reduce their own risk of becoming diabetic – and to learn the simple lifestyle changes that can make all the difference.
Dr Peter Bibawy is Clinical Chair of NHS North East Hampshire and Farnham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which plans and funds the majority of health services for the area’s 235,000 people.
He said: “Diabetes is a condition that can be extremely debilitating and have a huge impact on people’s lives and the lives of those around them.
“Some people are more prone to developing Type 2 diabetes yet for all of us our risk can also be closely linked to our lifestyle choices; If we have a healthy diet, lead active lives and manage our weight, the risk goes down.
“Even better, if we do make those lifestyle changes, our risk of developing other serious diseases, such as cancer and heart disease, is also reduced.”
High-risk Type 2 diabetes groups include people who are overweight, people of South Asian, Afro-Caribbean or black African descent and men over the age of 40. People with a family history of diabetes or who have had high blood pressure are also at higher risk.
In North East Hampshire and Farnham people newly-diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes are contacted with an offer of special training (DESMOND: Diabetes Education and Self-Management for Ongoing and Newly Diagnosed) to help them identify and make any adjustments to their lives to manage their condition. GPs can also refer people at risk onto the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, helping them to prevent the onset of diabetes.
The CCG has also been working with Rushmoor Healthy Living and DiabetesUK to train ‘Diabetes Champions’ among the local Nepali community. The champions work within their own community to raise awareness, share advice and guidance to ensure that health information reaches those that most need it.
The scheme was introduced in Slough and has been shared in Rushmoor through the Frimley Health and Care Integrated Care System.