Call to over 40s to have diabetes risk assessed

Mon, 09 Jun 2014
Millions of people across England have today been urged to book a free health test to check for their risk of diabetes.

All adults between the ages of 40 and 74 are being advised to book an NHS Health Check with their GP in an effort to help identify those at risk of type 2 diabetes and encourage them to take the steps needed to prevent the disease developing.

Described by the NHS as a "free midlife MoT", the health assessment examines a person's circulatory and vascular health to assess their risk of developing serious, disabling conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and certain types of dementia.

In 2013, more than 1.3 million people in England who had not already been diagnosed with one of these conditions took advantage of the NHS Health Check and received support and advice to help them reduce or manage their disease risk.

However, it is believed many people who could benefit from the programme are still missing out on the opportunity.

"With Type 2 diabetes becoming more common, the NHS Health Check presents an opportunity for individuals to take steps earlier, such as weight control, to prevent or even reverse diabetes in its early stages," Professor Kevin Fenton, director of health and wellbeing at Public Health England, said.

"It is important that those eligible take up the offer so their risk of serious but potentially avoidable conditions can be assessed, leading to early intervention."

Up to 7 million people in the UK are thought to be at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and if current incidence rates continue, the number of people living with type 2 or type 1 diabetes will reach an estimated 5 million by 2025.

This week (9-15 June) marks Diabetes Awareness Week 2014. This year, the team at Diabetes.co.uk have some exciting things planned to help raise awareness of the disease, from special offers and giveaways to new and exclusive videos debunking the common diabetes myths.
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