CLOSE TO half a million people in Yorkshire have blood sugar levels that put them at risk of developing diabetes.
In Hull, 10 per cent of those over 16 are judged to be in danger of developing type two diabetes while in East Riding and North Yorkshire the figures is 12.4 per cent.
The figures have emerged from the most rigorous study yet of a condition known as non-diabetic hyperglycaemia which can be a pointer towards type two diabetes.
The study has helped inform a new programme which help people lose weight and take more exercise to help them reduce their risk of developing the condition.
Paul Twomey, medical director for NHS England in Yorkshire, said: “There are too many people on the cusp of developing type two diabetes and we can change that.
“The growing body of evidence makes us confident that our NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme will reduce the numbers of those at risk going on to develop the debilitating disease.”
The NHS in Bradford has been taking part in the development of the programme designed to help people avoid developing diabetes.
A review of the programme suuggests it can prevent more than a quarter of of people at high risk of type two diabetes from going on to develop the condition.
People who take part in diabetes prevention programmes lose on average 1.57 kg mor in weight than those left without support to change their lifestyle.
Dr Andrew Lee, diabetes lead at Public Health England Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “We know how to lower the risk of developing type two diabetes: lose weight, exercise and eat healthily, but it’s hard to do it alone.
“PHE’s evidence review shows that supporting people along the way will help them protect their health and that’s what our prevention programme will do.”
Over the last two years, more than 12,000 people who are at risk of developing diabetes have taken part in the ‘Bradford Beating Diabetes’ programme.
It works by offering those identified by doctors at being at high risk of developing diabetes a 12-month “intensive lifestyle change programme”.
Those recruited to the programme take part in group sessions where they receive advice on exercise, stopping smoking, health eating and the risks of carrying on their current lifestyle.
The national programme being rolled out next year will offer nine months of support.
Barbara Young, chief executive of the Diabetes UK charity, said: “Having high blood glucose levels significantly increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, which is a serious health condition which affects 2.9 million people in England, and can lead to devastating complications such as blindness, amputations and stroke, and ultimately early death.
“This is why it is really important that people at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes are given evidenced based support to reduce their risk.
“As well as helping to reduce the human cost of type two diabetes, this would also go a long way to helping to reduce costs to the NHS.
“The NHS spends 10 per cent of its entire budget managing diabetes and unless we get better at preventing type 2 diabetes this figure will rise to unsustainable levels.”