Can Type 2 diabetes be prevented?
Over a quarter of people living in Greater Manchester will develop diabetes in their lifetime. There are now approximately 160,000 people in Greater Manchester thought to be at risk.
The good news is that if people maintain a healthy weight and are more active, the risk of developing diabetes is significantly reduced. So, for further advice on leading a healthy lifestyle please find useful information at the NHS Live Well website.
Who's at risk?
Generally, Type 2 diabetes occurs in people over the age of 40. It often develops slowly so people may not notice any symptoms, or there may be no symptoms at all. It is really important to know your risk, so you can take action to prevent it from developing. Below are established risk factors for developing Type 2 diabetes:
- Being over 40 and white, or over 25 and African-Caribbean, Black-African, Chinese or South Asian
- Type 2 diabetes is two to four times more likely in people of South Asian descent and African-Caribbean or Black African descent
- Family history of diabetes - You’re two to six times more likely to get Type 2 diabetes if you have a parent, brother, sister or child with diabetes.
- Being overweight - especially if you carry the excess weight around your middle.
- History of a heart attack or stroke - You’re more at risk if you’ve ever had high blood pressure.
- If you smoke
- History of schizophrenia, bipolar illness or depression, or if you are receiving treatment with anti-psychotic medication
- Those who had polycystic ovaries (PCOS), gestational diabetes, or a baby weighing over 10 pounds
- If you spend long periods of time sitting, this is known as a ‘sedentary’ lifestyle. Being sedentary is associated with an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes.
- Drinking too much alcohol
You can find more information about risk factors for developing diabetes on the Diabetes UK website
Am I at risk?
Find out what your own risk of developing Type 2 diabetes is by using the Diabetes UK 'Know Your Risk' tool below.
Knowing you’re at risk is the first step towards preventing Type 2 diabetes.
National Diabetes Prevention Programme
If your GP or practice nurse has told you that you are at risk of developing diabetes we would encourage you to join the Healthier You programme. To be eligible for this programme your HbA1c must be between 42-47 mmol/mol and dated within the last 12 months.
If you would like to join either talk to your GP or practice nurse or alternatively you can refer yourself online. Please have your NHS number, latest HbA1c, including the date and your GP surgery name so you complete the referral form. Please ensure you have spoken with your healthcare professional before you refer yourself.