Eastleigh MP Mike Thornton has backed a campaign by Diabetes UK to reach the 7 million people in the UK who are at high risk of Type 2 diabetes by urging people in Eastleigh to have their risk of the condition checked.
The Diabetes UK campaign, funded by its National Charity Partnership with Tesco, aims to help people understand the seriousness of Type 2 diabetes, which can lead to devastating health complications such as amputation, blindness and stroke, so that people understand the importance of preventing it.
The campaign will also raise awareness of the risk factors of the condition – being over 40 (or over 25 if you are from a South Asian background); being overweight or having a close family member with diabetes – and is urging people to take a risk assessment if any of these risk factors apply to them. People can do this online (www.diabetes.org.uk/riskscore), by visiting a pharmacy or by going to their GP. Those at high risk can then be given information about how to reduce their risk as up to 80 per cent of cases of Type 2 diabetes can be delayed or prevented through healthy lifestyle changes.
As well as identifying those at high risk, the campaign is expected to identify some of the estimated 850,000 people in the country who have undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes. It is really important that these people are detected as if the condition is not diagnosed early, or is left untreated, it is more likely to lead to devastating complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness and amputation.
Mike Thornton MP said: "Type 2 diabetes is a very serious condition that can lead to devastating complications such as blindness, amputations and stroke and can have a devastating impact on both the people affected and their families. Yet there are many people in Eastleigh who at high risk of the condition or already have it but don’t know it. It is important that these people get assessed so that they can get the treatment and support that they need to reduce their risk or manage the condition. This is why I’m backing Diabetes UK’s campaign and urging people in Eastleigh to make themselves aware of the risk factors for Type 2 diabetes and to have a risk assessment if any risk factors apply to them. It is one of the best things you can do for your health and for your family."
Barbara Young, Diabetes UK Chief Executive, said: "Diabetes is one of the greatest health challenges that we face. There are 7 million people at high risk of Type 2 diabetes and the rise of the condition is leading to early deaths and devastating health complications and heartache to families.
"Despite this many people do not know what the key risk factors are and so are unaware if they are at high risk. We really want to reach these people so that they understand their personal risk of developing the condition and can be supported to reduce their risk as in most cases it is possible to delay or prevent the onset of the condition by making healthy lifestyle changes.
"Diabetes can lead to devastating complications and shatters lives and families so it’s really essential that people in Eastleigh get checked and this is why I’m delighted that Mike Thornton MP has added his voice to this call."