Simple lifestyle changes, such as increased physical activity, can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes, according to new guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).
Nearly three million people in the UK have diabetes, and this is set to rise to five million, nearly 10% of the population, by 2025. Around 850,000 people have undiagnosed type 2 diabetes, while 15% are at high risk of developing the condition, it added.
The institute identified key groups that should be encouraged to have a risk assessment, including:
- all adults aged 40 and above (except pregnant women);
- those aged 25 to 39 and of South Asian, Chinese, African-Caribbean or black African descent, and other high-risk black and minority ethnic groups (except pregnant women); and
- adults with conditions that increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
If a person is assessed as high risk, they should contact their GP or practice nurse for a blood test to confirm their level of risk, discuss ways of reducing it, or whether or not they already have type 2 diabetes.
Professor Mike Kelly, director of the Centre for Public Health Excellence at NICE said: “Type 2 diabetes is a very large-scale problem and there are simple steps that can be taken to help reduce the risk of developing the disease.”