The majority of South Asian people screened for type 2 diabetes as part of an awareness drive in Leicester were deemed to be at ‘high risk’ of developing the condition.
The results showed 72.4 per cent of the 202 people checked for the condition at four community centres in the city were close to developing type 2 diabetes.
People found to be in the high-risk category were offered the opportunity to attend a follow-up workshop designed to encourage more physical activity and promote education about type 2 diabetes.
Professor Kamlesh Khunti, Director of CLAHRC East Midlands, said: “People from South Asian origin are two to four times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than white Europeans.
“It is important to identify those with undiagnosed diabetes and those at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. We want to show that it’s not too late to introduce small lifestyle changes to their lives, which could make a big difference to their health.”
Participants completed a diabetes risk score using a questionnaire translated into Gujarati and Bengali based on the Leicester Risk Score created by Leicester Diabetes Centre.
Results from the research, which examined the viability of conducting screening and education workshops in community faith centres, could now help inform the Healthier You: the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme.
The national type 2 prevention drive launched this year with a first wave of 27 areas covering 26 million people, half of the population, and made up to 20,000 places available. This will be rolled out to the whole country by 2020 with an expected 100,000 referrals available each year after.
Dr Andy Willis, who is from CLAHRC East Midlands and is based at the Leicester Diabetes Centre, wrote the report. He added: “This research proves that delivery of a screening intervention to high numbers of participants within a faith centre setting is feasible and well received by participants.
“This opportunistic method of screening has the potential to extend the reach of structured primary care based screening to identify hard to reach groups at high risk of diabetes.”
The Centre for BME Health East Midlands, which is working to reduce ethnic health inequality in the region by sharing resources and promoting research, supported the project.

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