The larger the waistline the bigger the risk of Type 2 diabetes

The larger the waistline the bigger the risk of Type 2 diabetes

Around 2.7 million Brits have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, while another 850,000 are thought to have undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes.

A new survey by Bupa, supported by Alexandra Burke, found that over a third of people said they had symptoms that could be a sign of the condition. However, only 32% of these were seeking medical advice from a doctor.

Over two thirds of people assume nothing is wrong and will not visit a doctor if they have what they consider to be ‘minor’ symptoms, commonly associated with Type 2 diabetes.  

This may be because symptoms of Type 2 diabetes, which include feeling tired and thirsty, often occur gradually. Therefore many people think they are just a part of getting older or some don’t notice any symptoms at all.

Dr Tim Woodman, a Medical Director at Bupa commented, “Type 2 diabetes is a serious, lifelong condition that needs to be diagnosed as soon as possible and managed effectively. Therefore it is worrying to see that people are ignoring symptoms associated with the condition and again highlights the importance of having a risk assessment rather than just relying on symptoms to identify it. We want to help people to make the right lifestyle choices and minimise their risk of the condition or further complications. Otherwise the number of cases and the number of undiagnosed cases will rise at an alarming rate.”

As a consequence, Bupa and Diabetes UK are urging people to have their risk of Type 2 diabetes checked if they have any of the risk factors e.g a large waist. To help, they have launched an online risk assessment so that people can find out whether they are at high risk, in just a few minutes. People who are identified as being at high risk are then advised to be tested for the condition at their GP. Bupa and Diabetes UK have also developed the management tool ‘Type 2 diabetes and Me’, which helps you effectively manage the condition once you have been diagnosed.

Singer-songwriter Alexandra Burke commented: “I’m working with Bupa to help raise awareness of Type 2 diabetes because my mother and grandmother live with the condition. I want to do all I can to help those at risk or already living with Type 2 diabetes”.

Even more worrying is the fact that the vast majority of Brits say they make lifestyle choices that can increase your likelihood of developing Type 2 diabetes. These choices include:

·      Eating a lot of sugary foods, which are high in calories and can lead to putting on weight, which in turn increases risk of Type 2 diabetes

·      Not partaking in the minimum amount of exercise

Over half admit to ignoring the potential long-term health consequences of their current lifestyle. Type 2 diabetes is serious and if not diagnosed early enough, or not managed correctly, can lead to devastating complications such as heart disease, blindness or amputation.

Alexandra continued: “At times I have seen my family really struggle to manage the condition. With the two free online tools from Bupa and Diabetes UK, not only can you find out your level of risk of developing the condition, but also how to manage it if required. There is a general lack of understanding of this condition and you would be surprised how much simple lifestyle changes can really help.”

Simon O’Neill, Director of Health Intelligence for Diabetes UK, said: “These findings really highlight that when it comes to Type 2 diabetes, we cannot rely on symptoms to make sure people get diagnosed quickly. This is why there are so many undiagnosed cases of the condition.

“People can sometimes have it for many years before being diagnosed and this is really worrying because the sooner you are diagnosed, the sooner you can start getting the support and treatment you need to reduce your risk of complications. This is why I would urge everyone to be aware of the risk factors of Type 2 and, if any of them apply to them, to have a risk assessment even if you have not had any symptoms.”

by for
find me on and follow me on