Diabetes UK Cymru calls for more men to know their risk of Type 2 diabetes
On the eve of World Health Day (Thursday, April 7), which is this year focusing on diabetes, a leading health charity is calling on men of all ages to go online to find out their risk of Type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes UK Cymru is urging more men in Rhondda Cynon Taf and Merthyr Tydfil to use the Know Your Risk online tool after findings from one million visits showed that 38 per cent more women than men are using the online tool, despite men being at greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes .
There are now an estimated 16,300 people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in the Cwm Taf University Health Board area and many more who are already living with the condition but haven’t yet been diagnosed. Early diagnosis can be key to managing the condition well. Knowing whether you are at increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in the future can also help people take steps to protect their health.
The Know Your Risk tool is a simple to use online version of a questionnaire. Based on the key risk factors for Type 2 diabetes such as age, gender, weight, waist measurement and ethnicity, it gives a calculated analysis of an individual’s risk of having or developing this serious health condition in the future which, if left untreated or poorly managed, can lead to devastating complications such as amputation, blindness, heart attack and stroke.
Diabetes UK Cymru’s Director Dai Williams said: “In the run up to the global World Health Day we are urging everyone, but especially men, to go online and find out their risk of Type 2 diabetes using our Know Your Risk tool, which asks seven simple questions and takes only three minutes to complete. With Type 2 accounting for around 90% of all cases of diabetes there has never been a more urgent and critical need for people to understand their risk and take steps now to delay or even prevent the onset of the condition.
“It is estimated that a staggering 576,000 people in Wales are now at increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. However the good news is that when an individual knows they are at increased risk they hold the power to keep their risk as low possible by eating well, staying active and maintaining a healthy weight.
"This is why it is so important to get online now to find out your risk of Type 2 diabetes and then take any necessary steps to reduce this risk, as not doing so can lead to devastating consequences. Too many people are living with this serious health condition and enduring complications such as amputation, stroke and blindness – a huge human price to pay that could have been avoided.”
The charity urges anyone who finds they are at moderate or high risk of Type 2 diabetes to go and speak to their GP or nurse, where further testing can be arranged.
There is also a wealth of advice on the Diabetes UK website on preventing and managing Type 2 diabetes which is a complex and often misunderstood condition that, unlike Type 1 diabetes, can often be prevented through eating well, staying active and maintaining a healthy weight.
Find out your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes now at www.diabetes.org.uk/risk
1 Diabetes UK is the leading UK charity that cares for, connects with and campaigns on behalf of all people affected by and at risk of diabetes. For more information on all aspects of diabetes and access to Diabetes UK activities and services, visit www.diabetes.org.uk
2 In the UK, there are 4 million people who have diabetes of which 549,000 people have Type 2 diabetes but don’t know they have it because they haven’t been diagnosed. 11.9 million people are at increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and if current trends continue, an estimated 5 million people will have diabetes by 2025.
3 Diabetes is a condition where there is too much glucose in the blood because the body cannot use it properly. If not managed well, both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can lead to devastating complications. Diabetes is the leading cause of preventable sight loss in people of working age in the UK and is a major cause of lower limb amputation, kidney failure and stroke.
4 People with Type 1 diabetes cannot produce insulin. About 10 per cent of people with diabetes have Type 1. No one knows exactly what causes it, but it’s not to do with being overweight and it isn’t currently preventable. It usually affects children or young adults, starting suddenly and getting worse quickly. Type 1 diabetes is treated by daily insulin doses – taken either by injections or via an insulin pump. It is also recommended to follow a healthy diet and take regular physical activity
5 People with Type 2 diabetes don’t produce enough insulin or the insulin they produce doesn’t work properly (known as insulin resistance). 85 to 90 per cent of people with diabetes have Type 2. They might get Type 2 diabetes because of their family history, age and ethnic background puts them at increased risk. They are also more likely to get Type 2 diabetes if they are overweight. It starts gradually, usually later in life, and it can be years before they realise they have it. Type 2 diabetes is treated with a healthy diet and increased physical activity. In addition, tablets and/or insulin can be required.
7 The Know Your Risk tool was developed by Diabetes UK, the University of Leicester and the University Hospital of Leicester NHS Trust
The Know Your Risk tool is not a diagnostic tool. It is designed for people without a current diagnosis of diabetes and is intended to highlight a person’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in the next 10 years. The results are not medical advice.
The tool is based on the key risk factors of Type 2 diabetes – both modifiable such as BMI, waist measurement and blood pressure and non-modifiable such as age, gender, ethnicity and family history.