April 2008

Vol 7 - No. 10
























Letter from U.K. | April 2008



70,000 South Asian and Black people in UK Unaware They Have Diabetes

More than 70,000 people of South Asian and black origin in the UK are not aware they that have diabetes  and run the risk of developing complications including heart attacks, blindness and amputations.

People of South Asian and black origin are up to four times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes and are likely to develop the condition and its complications at a younger age than the rest of the population.

More than 300,000 people of South Asian and black origin across the UK have already been diagnosed with diabetes.

There are 2.3 million people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK, and up to a further 750,000 who have Type 2 diabetes but don't yet know it.

The Diabetes UK Measure Up roadshow will be visiting five locations in London and providing free tests as well as information and advice. These locations have been chosen to try and reach as many South Asian and black people as possible. The roadshow tour starts in Haringey on 19 March and over the next couple of weeks will visit Redbridge, Wembley, Neasden and Ealing.

The Diabetes UK Measure Up campaign, in partnership with NHS London, aims to get people in London measuring their waist to see if they are at risk of Type 2 diabetes, as having a large waist means you are up to twelve times more likely to develop diabetes. Overall around 135,000 people of South Asian and black origin in London have already been diagnosed with diabetes and a further 30,000 people have diabetes but are unaware of it.

At risk waist measurements are 37 inches or more for men, except those of South Asian origin who are at risk at 35 inches or more, and 31.5 inches or more for all women. Other risk factors include being aged over 40, or 25 for people of South Asian and black origin, or having a family history of Type 2 diabetes.

Douglas Smallwood, Chief Executive of leading health charity Diabetes UK, said: "Diabetes is one of the biggest health challenges facing us today. Its shocking that there are thousands of people across the UK that have diabetes but are going about their daily lives unaware they have a condition that puts them at greater risk of heart disease, blindness, kidney failure and amputations.

"In London there are around 70,000 people with undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes around 30,000 of these people are of Black or South Asian origin. By the time people are diagnosed, around half already have signs of complications. The sooner people find out they have the condition, the sooner they can start managing their diabetes to reduce the risk of life threatening complications."

"Diabetes is a serious condition which can lead to complications including heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and amputation.

"Type 2 diabetes can be undetected for up to 12 years, and 50 per cent of people with the condition have signs of complications when they are diagnosed. This is why screening is so vital to the health of the nation."

Visit www.diabetes.org.uk/MeasureUp to find out if you are at risk of Type 2 diabetes.


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