People living in the London borough of Tower Hamlets are to be offered free health tests to see if they are at risk of developing diabetes.
It is estimated that over 14,500 people in the borough have diabetes, while between 2,000-3,000 individuals have the disease but are unaware of their condition (undiagnosed diabetes).
The high diabetes rate is largely due to Tower Hamlets’ large South Asian population.
More than 80,000 of the borough’s residents – equal to nearly a third of the population – define themselves as Bangladeshis of South Asian or British Asian origin.
Research shows that the risk of developing type 2 diabetes is six times higher for people of South Asian origin compared to those of European descent. In addition, prevalence of the disease is known to be more widespread in deprived areas such as Tower Hamlets.
To help raise awareness of diabetes and detect people either at high risk of type 2 diabetes or with undiagnosed diabetes, staff at the Diabetes Centre in Mile End Hospital will provide free diabetes screening and information about the condition to local residents on June 11 as part of an open day.
Alison Powling, diabetes screening services manager, said: “Diabetes is a growing problem particularly in Tower Hamlets. We want to raise awareness among everyone about what they can do to prevent the condition as well as helping those with the condition to manage it more effectively.”

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