Screen with type 2 diabetes on

NHS scheme helping thousands curb type 2 diabetes, new research shows

The NHS’s Diabetes Prevention Programme has stopped thousands of people from getting type 2 diabetes, new academic research has revealed.

The research comes from The University of Manchester and indicates that, for those with raised blood sugars who were referred to the scheme, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes was 20% lower, compared to the people not accessing support from the health service.

With previous data suggesting that the number of people affected by diabetes in the UK could increase to 5.5 million by 2030, the NHS say the continued roll out of the programme represents its “radical action” to curb obesity and prevent more of the population from developing diabetes.

The scheme, which, per the latest figures, has now been offered to more than 1.2 million people, supports patients by suggesting personalised lifestyle changes – whether that be better quality nutrition, weight loss or increased physical activity.

The health service’s National Clinical Director for Diabetes and Obesity, Professor Jonathan Valabhji, said: “This important study is further evidence that the NHS is preventing type 2 diabetes and helping hundreds of thousands of people across England to lead healthier lives.

“Type 2 diabetes is a growing problem with millions of people affected and not only is it linked to kidney failure, amputation, heart attack, stroke and many of the common types of cancer, it also adds pressure to NHS services.

“So doing nothing is not an option for the NHS and so it is fantastic that our world first programme has offered well over one million people support and empowered them to lead healthier lives and prevent type 2 diabetes.”

This new research also builds on past data that showed the NHS’s programme had achieved a 7% reduction in the number of new type 2 diabetes diagnoses in England between 2018 and 2019, helping approximately 18,000 people.

The University of Manchester’s Professor Evangelos Kontopantelis, added: “Type 2 diabetes is a major public health concern which has been rising globally, with over three million people in the UK currently diagnosed with it.

“Previous studies have shown that both lifestyle modifications through diet and physical activity and medication can prevent progression to this condition. This study is good news for the Healthier You Diabetes Prevention Programme which we show beyond doubt is a powerful way to protect your health.”

Humber and North Yorkshire’s Clinical Lead for Diabetes, Dr Tom Milligan, recently wrote an article in our online magazine detailing how texting was helping this very same programme’s uptake. Click here to read his piece and many more.

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