People are being urged to know their diabetes risk

Mon 01st April 2019


People across the North East will be able to check their potential risk of developing Type 2 diabetes at nine diabetes ‘pop-up’ stalls next week.

More than 200,000 people are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes every year and the annual cost to treat it is more than £10 billion (nationally). It is estimated that around one million people in the UK have Type 2 diabetes but have not yet been diagnosed.

The risk assessment drop-in sessions, which are being held at a variety of locations to mark Diabetes Prevention Week (1 – 7 April), aim to raise awareness of Type 2 diabetes which can lead to serious and devastating conditions, including strokes, heart disease, kidney failure, limb amputation, vision loss and blindness and early death.  Sunderland residents can visit The Bridges Shopping Centre on Friday 5 April, between 9am – 4pm or any of the other dates across the region.

The short assessment will provide an opportunity for people to find out their risk of Type 2 diabetes using the Diabetes UK ‘Know Your Risk’ tool. This will include a series of questions including height, weight and stomach circumference.

Anyone that scores in the moderate or high-risk range will receive a letter to take to their GP requesting a blood test. If the blood test confirms someone is at high risk they should be referred on to the Healthier You NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme – a free, local service for those at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

The pop-up stalls are being delivered by Ingeus, the local provider of the Healthier You NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme in north Cumbria and the North East.

James Kelly, 74-year-old retired plumber from Sunderland, is currently participating in the programme: “I was on the verge of being diabetic and found this out by having a routine blood test. It is really frightening when you hear about the amount of people getting Type 2 diabetes and the serious illnesses and conditions it can result in. A couple of simple changes I have made is to reduce my sugar and beer intake! I also make a conscious effort to keep active.

“The advice and guidance you get on the prevention programme is excellent and it is encouraging being with other people in the same boat as you. I urge those that are referred to complete the programme and see what a massive difference it can make to your health and the way you feel. I am so pleased that I have significantly reduced my risk of getting Type 2 diabetes.”

There have been more than 8,800 referrals to the Healthier You programme in the North East since the initiative launched in the region 11 months ago. The 10-month course involves participants attending four weekly and nine monthly group sessions designed to stop or delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes by providing education on lifestyle choices, advice on how to reduce weight through healthier eating and bespoke physical activity programmes.

Dr Tim Butler, a GP in Durham, said: “I encourage people to take the opportunity to visit one of the diabetes pop-up stalls this week. Simple lifestyle changes can have a big impact on improving health and wellbeing and preventing some very serious illnesses and conditions.

“Around two thirds of adults and one third of children are now overweight or obese, driving rates of Type 2 diabetes higher and higher. Being overweight is the most significant risk factor than people can change. We estimate there are more than one million people living with diabetes who don’t know they have it because they haven’t been diagnosed.

“We are now focusing huge efforts to address Type 2 diabetes, as outlined in the NHS Long Term Plan. This commitment will see the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme double in size over the next few years to treat around 200,000 people a year nationally. From July this year, online versions of the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, which involve wearable technologies and apps to help those at risk, will be provided for patients who find it difficult to attend session because of work or family commitments.”

Clare Howarth, Head of the North of England at Diabetes UK, said: “It’s important that people understand their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and are given the knowledge and resources necessary to help them reduce their risk by eating healthily, moving more and losing weight if necessary.

“Thousands of Type 2 diabetes cases could be prevented if we help people understand their risk and how to reduce it. It can take just three minutes to find out, so we would encourage people to take the time to in Diabetes Prevention Week.”

People can easily find out their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by answering a few simple questions on the ‘Know Your Risk’ tool at; taking up the offer a free NHS health check (available for those aged 40-74) or by asking their GP or practice nurse to check if they are at risk.

Programme of diabetes pop-up stalls:

Monday, 1 April 2019
Hartlepool Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, 26 Middleton Grange, TS24 7RZ 9.00am-4.00pm
Stockton Castlegate Shopping Centre, High Street, TS18 1BG 9.00am-4.00pm
Tuesday, 2 April 2019
Peterlee Castle Dene Shopping Centre, 30 Yoden Way, SR8 1AL 9.00am-4.00pm
Middlesbrough Dundas Shopping Centre, Dundas Street, TS1 1HR 9.00am-4.00pm
Wednesday, 3 April 2019
Wallsend Wallsend Customer First Centre, 16 The Forum, NE28 8JR 9.00am-4.00pm
Thursday, 4 April 2019
Cramlington Manor Walks Shopping Centre, NE23 6UT 9.00am-4.00pm
Durham Prince Bishops Shopping Centre, High Street, DH1 3UJ 9.00am-4.00pm
Friday, 5 April 2019
Sunderland The Bridges Shopping Centre, SR1 3DR 9.00am-4.00pm
Gateshead Gateshead Civic Centre, Regent Street, NE8 1HH 9.00am-4.00pm

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