UK's Black And South Asian Population Remain Unaware Of Diabetes Risk

Mon, 17 Mar 2008
More than 70,000 people of black or South Asian origin in the UK are not aware that they have diabetes, meaning they run the risk of developing complications including heart attacks, blindness and amputations, according to health charity Diabetes UK .

The group said people of black or South Asian origin are up to four times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes, while also being more likely to develop the condition and its complications at a younger age than the rest of the UK population.

From march 19 the Diabetes UK ‘Measure Up’ Roadshow, in partnership with NHS London, will be visiting five locations in the capital and providing free tests along with general information and advice on diabetes.

The London locations including Wembley and Ealing have been chosen based on their high-density of black and South Asian residents.

The campaign’s officials said the roadshow aims to make people in London measure their waist to see if they are at risk of Type 2 diabetes and, in the process, making them aware of the fact that having a large waist means you are up to twelve times more likely to develop diabetes .

According to Diabetes UK, men with a waist measurement of 37 inches or more places them at risk of diabetes .However, men of South Asian origin are at risk with a wiast size of 35 inches or more, and 31.5 inches or more for all women .

Other risk factors for people of Black or South Asian origin include being over the age of 25, compared to 40 for the rest of the population, or having a family history of Type 2 diabetes .

Douglas Smallwood, Diabetes UK chief executive, said: "In London there are around 70,000 people with undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes – around 30,000 of these people are of Black or South Asian origin."

"By the time people are diagnosed, around half already have signs of complications. The sooner people find out they have the condition, the sooner they can start managing their diabetes to reduce the risk of life threatening complications," he added.

There are currently over 300,000 people of Black or South Asian origin across the UK that have already been diagnosed with diabetes, 135,000 of whom are in London .
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