All adults over the age of 40 should be assessed for their risk of type 2 diabetes, according to new guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).
The health watchdog recommends that everyone over 40, except pregnant women, should have a dedicated diabetes risk test, as well as people aged 25 and above of Asian or African-Caribbean descent – who are at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
In addition to having this test carried out at GP surgeries or pharmacies, the new guidance suggests that paper-based or online self-risk assessments should also be made available in a wide range of community and workplace settings, including job centres, libraries, shops and work offices.
Those who are identified as having a high diabetes risk should be offered a blood test by their GP. If their high risk is confirmed, they should then be referred to a local “evidence-based, intensive lifestyle-change programme” to help prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes .
Professor Mike Kelly, director of the Centre for Public Health Excellence at NICE, said: “Type 2 diabetes is a very large-scale problem and it is important for people to know that it is preventable, and there are simple steps that can be taken to help reduce the risk of developing the disease .”
“This guidance will help people to identify their own personal risk and highlights that by losing weight, being more active and improving their diet, they can delay or prevent Type 2 diabetes .”
Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK, commented: “We want to see the recommendations in this guidance to be fully implemented because the number of people with type 2 diabetes is increasing at an alarming rate and it is only through prevention that we will be able to stem the rising tide and cost of this disease .”
Diabetes currently affects around three million people in the UK, with roughly 90 per cent of those living with the type 2 form.

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