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Appeal to take action to help lower West Norfolk’s rising Diabetes rates

Thousands of West Norfolk residents could be unaware they are living with Diabetes, according to health care professionals.

Officials from the National Diabetes Audit say at least 11,610 residents in West Norfolk are living with Diabetes, with 855 having type one and 10,755 with type two.

Clare Hambling (2533922)
Clare Hambling (2533922)

But it is feared there could be many more who are unaware they are living with the condition, leaving them at risk of further complications such as heart disease or stroke.

A GP at a practice in Downham and professional member of Diabetes UK, Dr Clare Hambling said: “We have a high prevalence of diabetes in Norfolk, which is related to a range of factors.

“Many people are aware of the association between diabetes and lifestyle factors such as diet, overweight, obesity and sedentary lifestyle as these get a lot of media attention.

“But other factors, including genetics, population growth, improving life-expectancy and ageing are also important.”

To support national Diabetes Week, Norfolk and Waveney’s five Clinical Commissioning Groups are launching a campaign to promote information about how people can prevent or reduce their risk of developing diabetes.

They will also be promoting free NHS Health Checks for people aged 40 to 74 years.

Dr Hambling added: “Some people are unaware that they have type two Diabetes and may not be diagnosed until after they start to show signs of complications, which can be several months or even years after the onset of the condition.

“Early diagnosis and treatment is absolutely essential if we want to prevent or reduce the risk of disabling diabetes-related complications.”

Diabetes UK’s eastern regional director, Peter Shorrick said: “Diabetes is a serious condition and the number of people living with the condition is rising fast.

“We welcome this vital Norfolk initiative. Raising awareness and understanding and encouraging people to understand their risk and take action to get healthier whenever they can is so important. Small changes can add up to a big difference.”

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