Know Your Risk Roadshow uncovers nearly two thirds of people in Merthyr at risk of Type 2 diabetes
64 per cent of people who visited the Know Your Risk Roadshow in Merthyr are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
The Know Your Risk Roadshow delivered by Diabetes UK in partnership with Tesco identified 137 people, out of the 214 seen, to be at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and referred them to their GP surgery for further tests and support.
These figures are a cause for grave concern, with over 16,300 people already diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in the Cwm Taf University Health Board areas of Merthyr and Rhondda Cynon Taf.
Diabetes UK Cymru’s Director Dai Williams said: “We are very concerned that so many people in Merthyr are at risk of Type 2 diabetes. This is a serious health condition that, left untreated or poorly managed, can lead to potential devastating complications such as blindness, amputation and stroke. The fact that the number of people living with Type 2 diabetes in the area is increasing each year is a clear sign that urgent action is needed to identify and tackle people’s risk of developing the condition.
“A key step to addressing the rising number of people with Type 2 diabetes is identifying people who are at risk of developing the condition and giving them the support they need to reduce that risk. As many as three out of five cases of Type 2 diabetes can be delayed or even prevented through adopting a healthy lifestyle.
“Finding out their risk of getting Type 2 diabetes, means the 137 people who attended the roadshow in Merthyr are now aware of lifestyle changes they can adopt, such as eating more healthily and taking more exercise to maintain a healthy weight, to delay or even prevent them from getting Type 2 diabetes. We want to help as many people as possible to find out their risk of this serious health condition so that they can take positive steps today that give them the best chance of living a long and healthy life.”
Caroline Silke, Head of Community for Tesco said: “Our customers tell us they want us to make it a little bit easier for them to live more healthily, and it’s great that the money raised for Diabetes UK by Tesco colleagues has funded the Know Your Risk roadshow for the third year running.”
Unlike Type 1 diabetes which is not linked to lifestyle and cannot be prevented, the most important risk factor for developing Type 2 diabetes is being overweight or obese, especially if you are large around your middle. This is something people change by maintaining a healthy weight through eating a healthy diet and taking regular exercise. Other risk factors for Type 2 diabetes, which cannot be changed, are ethnicity – being African-Caribbean, Black African, South Asian – being aged over 40 (or over 25 if you are South Asian), and having a parent, child, brother or sister who has diabetes.
In the Wales, there are an estimated 165,000 people living with Type 2 diabetes, as well as an estimated 59,000 who have Type 2 diabetes but do not know it as they have not yet been diagnosed. With these figures set to rise it’s crucial that people find out their risk and make changes now to delay or even prevent developing this serious health condition.
When the Roadshow last visited Merthyr two years ago, the team identified 59 per cent of the 242 people who attended to be at moderate or high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Anyone who was unable to attend the Roadshow in Merthyr can find out their risk of Type 2 diabetes online at diabetes.org.uk/knowyourrisk. For more information about diabetes, visit www.diabetes.org.uk.
The charity is also running a free full day event to give advice to people with Type 2 diabetes. This will be held on Wednesday 1 June, 9.30am to 4.30pm and will take place at Redhouse in Merthyr’s Old Town Hall.
Anyone who is interested in coming along can register at www.diabetes.org.uk/LWDD or call
Freephone 0345 123 2399.