Steps to prevent Type 2 diabetes highlighted in new campaign Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Week

NHS Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is urging people in Bedfordshire to reduce their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by making some simple changes to their lifestyle.

This plea comes ahead of Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Week, which runs from 1 – 7 April 2019.

Public Health England estimates that almost 40,000 people across the NHS Bedfordshire CCG area have blood sugar levels that put them at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Simple lifestyle changes such as diet, activity levels and weight management can often prevent or delay the condition.

In 2017/18 there were 24,961 people, aged 17 years or older, in the NHS Bedfordshire CCG area diagnosed with diabetes. This equals 6.5% of the population.

Dr Sanhita Chakrabarti, clinical lead for NHS Bedfordshire CCG, said:

“Type 2 diabetes is a very serious health condition that is affecting more and more people. The good news is that there are plenty of steps that people can take to reduce the risk of developing the disease, such as eating a healthy, balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight and taking regular exercise.

“It’s essential to be diagnosed as early as possible because Type 2 diabetes will get progressively worse if left untreated and can lead to complications such as heart disease, strokes, kidney problems and blindness.”

Free NHS Health Checks for everyone aged between 40 and 74

Obesity is the single greatest risk factor for developing the condition. Age, family history and ethnicity can also contribute to someone’s risk. People of African-Caribbean, Black-African or South Asian descent are up to six times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than white people.

Free NHS Health Checks for everyone aged between 40 and 74 are available at GP surgeries. The health check includes a blood test that will find out whether you are at risk of Type 2 diabetes.

If you are at risk your GP will be able to offer advice on lifestyle changes that can prevent the disease and improve your general health. For further information visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/nhs-health-check/

People can also find out their risk of Type 2 diabetes by using the Diabetes UK Know Your Risk Score.