An inch or two from diabetes?


Diabetes UK’s campaign aims to promote early diagnosis of diabetes

Having recently raised over £650 for Diabetes UK by participating in the Great North Run, Jo Swinson has attended a diabetes awareness day in Parliament, to highlight waist measurement as a risk factor for Type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes UK’s Measure Up awareness campaign urges people to grab a tape measure and check their waistline as a quick and easy first step to assess their diabetes risk. Research has shown that a large waist can make a person up to twelve times more likely to develop diabetes. At risk waist measurements are 37 inches or more for men, (35 inches for men of South Asian origin) and 31.5 inches or more for all women.

Jo commented:

“There may be up to 1,400 people in East Dunbartonshire who suffer from diabetes but remain undiagnosed. Early diagnosis of diabetes is essential to avoid serious health problems later. A quick waistline measurement can give an early indication of risk, while taking into account other factors such as family history, age and weight can also indicate whether a health check may be necessary.”

Douglas Smallwood, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said:

“There are 750,000 people in the UK who have diabetes but don’t know it – that’s equivalent to the entire population of Leeds. Many people don’t realise they’re at risk and shockingly can go undiagnosed for up to 12 years. The longer people are left undiagnosed, the higher their risk of heart attacks, blindness, kidney failure and amputations. Our simple health check could save many people from a future of ill health.”

As part of the Measure Up campaign, the charity is also launching its ‘Are you at risk?’ online tool, a two minute interactive test, designed to help people understand how high their diabetes risk is. Measure Up aims to make people aware of the risk factors including waist size, weight, age, family history and ethnicity and encourage those with at least two risk factors to get themselves tested.

The Diabetes UK Careline (0845 120 2960) offers information and support on any aspect of managing diabetes. The line is a lo-call number and opens Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm (operates a translation service). Recorded information on a number of diabetes-related topics is also available on this number 24 hours a day.

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