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Welsh GPs could see flood of diabetes

Louise Prime

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

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GPs in Wales should brace themselves for a wave of new cases of type 2 diabetes. A two-week campaign run with Diabetes UK Cymru in Welsh pharmacies in June is expected to identify a huge number of people at high risk of the disease.

The charity is working with Community Pharmacy Wales in conducting the screening campaign to pick up people at greatest risk of diabetes. Every pharmacy in Wales – more than 700 – will be offering free risk assessments for type 2 diabetes for two weeks, starting with Diabetes Week on Monday 13 June.

Pharmacy customers will be offered the Diabetes Risk Score test, and those found to be at highest risk of developing type 2 diabetes over the next 10 years will be advised to see their GP.

Diabetes UK Cymru says that an estimated 66,000 people in Wales have undiagnosed diabetes. People at risk because of their weight or waist size will also be advised how they can reduce their risk by leading a healthier lifestyle.

Dai Williams, national director of Diabetes UK Cymru, said: “We are delighted that every pharmacy in Wales will be offering free type 2 diabetes risk assessments for a fortnight this June.

“The sooner diabetes is diagnosed, the sooner it can be controlled and the risk of its devastating complications, such as heart disease, strokes and kidney disease, reduced.”

He told the BBC: “Diabetes is increasing rapidly in Wales and it is terrifying that one in 50 people here are thought to be living with undiagnosed diabetes.”

The campaign is supported by BMA Cymru, Public Health Wales and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

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