New Public Health England (PHE) figures suggest that up to five million people in England are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
The new figures were taken from an analysis conducted on date collected between 2009 and 2013, which was compiled by PHE’s National Cardiovascular Health Intelligence Network.
In most parts of the country, one in 10 adults have prediabetes, which is characterised by higher than normal blood glucose levels. In some areas, this figure is one in seven.
Prediabetes can develop into type 2 diabetes if not diagnosed or treated properly, and five million people in England face this risk.
If you are over the age of 40 and belong to an ethnic group such as South Asian or Afro-Caribbea, then your prediabetes risk is enhanced.
Other risk factors include obesity, high blood pressure and high triglycerides, but making positive lifestyle choices to reduce these risk factors can slow down or even half the development of type 2.
A joint initiative by NHS England and PHE called the Diabetes Prevention Programme is underway in England, which focuses on healthy eating, exercise and weight loss.
The nine-month scheme will be offered to patients who are at high risk of type 2 diabetes either due to elevated blood glucose levels or a prediabetes diagnosis following an NHS check-up.
PHE chief executive Duncan Selbie highlighted that high-risk individuals require education and support if they are to properly treat prediabetes.
“We know how to lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes: lose weight, exercise and eat healthily, but it’s hard to do it alone,” Selbie said.
“PHE’s evidence review shows that supporting people along the way will help them protect their health, and that’s what our prevention programme will do.”

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