Free Checks Aim to Uncover Hidden Diabetes Sufferers; LIFESTYLE ADVICE TO HELP REDUCE RISK OF CONDITION
Byline: MADELEINE BRINDLEY
PHARMACISTS will today start offering free diabetes risk assessments in a bid to identify the thousands who have not yet been diagnosed.
The simple assessment will be available from every one of Wales' 700 community pharmacies over the course of the next two weeks.
People taking the written test will be given a score, which indicates their risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future.
They will also be offered lifestyle advice to help reduce that risk or referred to their GP for further tests if necessary.
Health Minister Lesley Griffiths will officially launch the scheme - the first of its kind in Wales and a partnership between Community Pharmacy Wales and Diabetes UK Cymru - today.
She said: "I'm very pleased to launch this first all-Wales public health campaign through community pharmacies. Diabetes UK Cymru estimate there could be 66,000 people in Wales with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes. I encourage people to go to their local community pharmacy to receive a risk assessment and, if appropriate, obtain advice on how to reduce their risk.
"Every year community pharmacies in Wales participate in public health campaigns with their health boards.
"This is the first time a co-ordinated campaign has been run across Wales ensuring this important message reaches more people."
The risk assessments look at such factors as body mass index, age, family history of diabetes and blood pressure and waist size.
More than 153,000 people have been diagnosed with diabetes in Wales - the vast majority have type 2 diabetes, which is often associated with being overweight.
Risk factors include being aged 40 or more, or 25 or more for people from minority ethnic communities, being overweight, having a close family history of the condition and having a large waist.
At risk waist sizes are 37 inches or more for men, or 35 inches or more for South Asian men, or 31.5 inches or more for all women.
People can live with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes for up to 10 years. Half of them will have developed the condition's serious complications, which include heart disease, stroke and kidney disease, by the time they are diagnosed. …