Approximately 2.5 million people in the UK have Type 2 diabetes, with many more in a so-called “pre-diabetic” state. Both conditions are hard to detect and cost the NHS an estimated £10 billion.
Professor Kamlesh Khunti and Professor Melanie Davies from the University of Leicester’s Diabetes Research Centre are pioneering new ways to identify people at high risk. They are also developing effective interventions to stop, slow and treat the conditions. Their programmes of research have informed national guidance and policy for diabetes prevention and have been implemented across the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, Gibraltar, Qatar, Africa, Malawi and Mozambique.
More than 1.6 million people have calculated their risk using the ‘Know your risk’ self-assessment questionnaire, developed in conjunction with Diabetes UK, and their Leicester Practice Risk score is being used by GPs to identify those at highest risk. Those identified with diabetes, or at risk, are then put on one of their programmes. These programmes offer behaviour change intervention, addressing core areas including physical activity, diet nutrition, emotional wellbeing and medication.