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People from black, asian and ethnic minority backgrounds in Northamptonshire are being urged to check if they are at risk of Type 2 diabetes.
The call out comes as we are reminded that black, asian and ethnic minority people are three times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than white people and that if left untreated, it can lead to sight loss, kidney failure, loss of a limb and it also increases the risk of heart attack or stroke.
People living with diabetes face a significantly higher risk of dying with Covid-19 with a third of deaths in England associated with the condition, according to NHS research. However, better management of the condition can help improve control and lead to better outcomes.
The special campaign launched by NHS England and NHS Improvement in the Midlands is asking black, asian and ethnic minority people to know their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes through using the ‘Know Your Risk’ tool hosted by Diabetes UK. Anyone at moderate or high risk of developing the condition may be eligible to join their local Healthier You NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, a joint initiative from NHS England and NHS Improvement, Public Health England and Diabetes UK. The programme supports people to make positive changes to their diet, weight and the amount of physical activity they do – to significantly reduce the risk of developing this disease.
Over half a million people have been referred into the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme including Northamptonshire resident Kris Okhueleigbe. The programme provides personalised support to
help people achieve a healthy weight, improve their diet and become more physically active, all together which have been shown to reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Kris Okhueleigbe, aged 55, lives in Northampton and works at St Andrew’s Hospital. After a check-up with his GP, tests revealed that Kris was a borderline diabetic. “My Doctor told me it was important that I took swift action and I was referred on to the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme provided by Ingeus. Black asian and ethnic minority people have a higher risk of getting Type 2 diabetes and getting Covid-19 and one of the reasons is the food that we eat and the way that we eat,” says Kris. “By following the programme and cutting down on carbs, eating more salads and reducing my sugar intake, I have reduced my weight from 94 kg to 87kg. I would recommend the programme to everyone from a black, asian, ethnic minority background to reduce their risk of Type 2 diabetes.”
Dr Sanjay Gadhia, GP at Lakeside Healthcare Group and GP Clinical Lead at Northamptonshire CCG said:
“There are several risk factors for Type 2 diabetes, some of which, such as your age or your family history that can’t be changed. However, it’s really important for the community to take heed that there are other risk factors such as your weight which are very much in your control. Indeed, the risk of Type 2 diabetes can be reduced by getting support to lose weight, getting more physically active and eating healthy food. I urge everyone from the community to take a pragmatic and practical approach to this very serious health condition to reduce your risk.”
People can find out if they are eligible to join their local programme by completing the Diabetes UK risk tool at riskscore.diabetes.org.uk. Anyone who is identified as at moderate to high risk of Type 2 diabetes using the Diabetes UK risk tool, can refer themselves to a local service for support remotely or online, without having to go through a healthcare professional.
The NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme has continued through the pandemic via telephone and video calls and is also available digitally using websites and apps.
To find out your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, visit: www.diabetes.org.uk/knowyourrisk.
Everyone with diabetes – including those who are pregnant – should get their free NHS flu jab to reduce their risk of getting the flu. For more information visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine/