FOLLOWING the findings that people are twice as likely to die from Covid-19, if they have type 2 diabetes, almost 300,000 people in the UK have checked their sugar levels online in less than two months.
Since July-end as many as 291,325 people used the Diabetes UK Know Your Risk tool, a 637 per cent increase compared to two months ago, latest data showed.
Recently, the NHS has boosted access to the Healthier You Diabetes prevention programme which has a weekly capacity to support 5,000 people.
According to a statement, over 5,000 people have self-referred for support to lose weight and prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.
People can use the online test to calculate their risk of developing the condition, and if the score is high they can refer themselves to a local service for support remotely or online, without going to a healthcare professional.
“It’s great to see so many people becoming more aware of their personal risk level, but we want to see even more people signing up to the support we have available. It is free and could be life-changing,” said Professor Jonathan Valabhji, NHS national clinical director for diabetes and obesity.
As the first national initiative of its kind in the world, over half a million people have been referred and those with overweight or obesity completing the programme lost on average 3.6kg, in line with the studies that demonstrated reduced onset of type 2 diabetes, the statement further said.
Those who qualify can join group sessions by video link or telephone with an experienced coach or through digital support, which includes online peer support groups and in some areas, wearable tech.
NHS has estimated that 200,000 people could benefit from the extension of the programme in a year and it plans to pilot low calorie diets for those recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.