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Lifestyle changes saving thousands from diabetes

Thousands of Britons have avoided being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes thanks to an NHS programme aimed at early intervention.

The Diabetes Prevention Programme identifies people at risk of developing the condition and gives them a nine-month plan to change their lifestyles.

Researchers at the University of Manchester found that the programme resulted in 18,000 fewer people in England being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes between 2018 and 2019 — a 7% reduction.

It focuses on eating and exercise habits and enables participants to join peer support groups and receive instruction from health coaches.

The programme also offers a digital service that helps participants monitor their progress using wearable technology and mobile phone apps.

Emma McManus, a research fellow at the university, said that diabetes was a “growing problem” for the country. The NHS spends about 10 per cent of its annual budget on treating it.

“However, if you change your lifestyle, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes reduces,” she said. “Our research has shown that the programme has been successful in reducing the number of new cases of diabetes.”

Emma Elvin, a senior clinical adviser at Diabetes UK, said: “This research adds to the evidence that many type 2 diabetes cases can be delayed or prevented with the right support and further highlights how the NHS diabetes prevention programme can be a real turning point for people at risk of type 2 diabetes.”

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: The Times, 28 March 2022


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