One in 20 taking Type 2 diabetes risk assessment ‘already has condition’
A survey of 1,000 people who have completed Diabetes UK’s online risk assessment for Type 2 diabetes found that over one in 20 (six per cent) said they went on to be diagnosed at their GP after being identified as being at high risk.
The online assessment asks people to input personal details such as age, ethnicity and weight. Based on this, it then calculates the person’s risk of Type 2 and those identified as being at high risk are advised to see their GP. Their GP will then test them to see if they are one of the estimated 630,000 people in the UK who have undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes and so start getting the healthcare they need to manage it.
Diabetes UK has welcomed the news that the risk assessment, which has now been taken by more than 400,000 people, is leading to people with Type 2 being diagnosed earlier, as well as identifying people who are at high risk of developing Type 2 in the future so they can start getting the support they need to help prevent it.
According to Diabetes UK, this highlights the potentially life changing positive impact of having a risk assessment and it is urging people to assess their risk online at www.riskscore.diabetes.org.uk or in a pharmacy or GP surgery if they have any of the following risk factors:
- Being over 40 (or over 25 if they are from a South Asian, African Caribbean, or Chinese background)
- Having a close relative with diabetes
- Being overweight or having a large waist
Barbara Young, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said: “If left unchecked, Type 2 diabetes can lead to devastating health complications such as amputation, blindness and stroke. This is why it is so important that people with Type 2 are diagnosed as quickly as possible so that they can start getting the education and healthcare they need to manage it.
“At the moment, too many people with the condition are not being identified quickly enough and this is why half of people with Type 2 already having signs of complications by the time they are diagnosed. This is why we need to do more to reach the estimated 630,000 people who have it but do not know it.
“But the fact that a significant number of people taking our online Risk Score have undiagnosed Type 2 suggests we are reaching the right people with it and those people diagnosed as a result are in a position to start getting the support to give them the best possible chance of a long and healthy life.
“I would urge anyone who has any of the risk factors to find out their risk status as soon as possible, whether online or at a local pharmacy or GP surgery. It will only take a few minutes and could be one of the most important things you ever do.”
An estimated one in 100 people in the UK are thought to have undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes. It is thought that the percentage is higher in people completing the Risk Score is because people who have one or more risk factors may be more motivated to do it. Also, the online survey was a self-selecting sample and so may not be representative of all those who take the Risk Score and it may be that those who were diagnosed with Type 2 were more likely to take part in the survey.