AN MP has given his backing to a charity as it aims to raise awareness about diabetes.
Easington MP Grahame Morris has given his support to Diabetes UK after it emerged that millions of people could be suffering from the condition without knowing it.
Diabetes UK estimates that there could be as many as seven million people in the UK at risk of developing diabetes, and is looking to raise awareness to try and cut out the risk.
If not treated properly, the condition can lead to complications such as amputations, blindness and strokes.
The campaign, funded by a National Charity Partnership with Tesco, will also target people who have Type 2 diabetes, which can be controlled without a need for insulin.
Grahame Morris, Easington’s MP, said: “Type 2 diabetes is a very serious condition that can lead to complications such as blindness, amputations and stroke and can have a devastating impact on both the people affected and their families. Yet there are many people in East Durham who are at high risk of the condition or already have it but don’t know it.
“It’s important that these people get assessed so that they can get the treatment and support that they need to reduce their risk or manage the condition.”
As well as finding and helping those at high risk, the campaign also aims to help the estimated 850,000 people around the country who already have type 2 diabetes but have gone undiagnosed.
Diabetes UK chief executive Barbara Young said: “Diabetes is one of the greatest health challenges that we face.
“There are seven million people at high risk of Type 2 diabetes and the rise of the condition is leading to early deaths and devastating health complications and heartache to families.
“Despite this, many people do not know what the key risk factors are and so are unaware if they are at high risk.
“We really want to reach these people so that they can understand their personal risk of developing the condition.”
People can take a risk assessment online at www.diabetes.org.uk/riskscore by visiting a pharmacy or going to a GP. Those at high risk can be given information about improving their lifestyle and becoming healthier, with 80 per cent people able to delay or prevent Type 2 diabetes through a positive change in health.