The condition is known to have more severe and acute consequences in people under 40.
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New research by Diabetes UK and Tesco has revealed an alarming acceleration in diagnoses of type 2 diabetes in younger age groups, with more than 13,000 people under 40-years-old in the East of England currently registered as having the condition.
The partnership between Diabetes UK and Tesco is urging people across the East of England to check their risk of type 2 diabetes through a free online tool as registered cases of type 2 in under-40s have risen by 23 per cent in the last five years. Cases are now rising fastest amongst young people according to analysis of NHS data.
The condition is known to have more severe consequences in people under 40. Without the right treatment and support, type 2 diabetes can lead to serious complications including kidney failure and heart disease. This comes as new research reveals that people under 40 from the East of England are generally unaware of many of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes, or the devastating complications the condition can lead to.
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In response to the data, Diabetes UK and Tesco are launching a campaign across the UK to drive a million people to better understand their individual risk of type 2 diabetes by using Diabetes UK’s free online ‘Know Your Risk’ tool, or by visiting their local Tesco pharmacy.
Shannon Ball, 26 was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at the age of 16. She said: "I know how overwhelming a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes can be for a younger person – I’ve lived through it – and I also know how difficult it can be to know where to go for support or advice if you’re worried about your health. That’s why I want to help as many people as possible understand their risk of type 2 diabetes and find the support to act.
"I’m proof that with the right advice and support around you, it’s possible to feel more in control of your health. I hope this campaign shows people who are worried about their risk of type 2 diabetes that the help is there and gives them the confidence to go out and get it.”
The campaign comes ahead of World Diabetes Day on November 14. In addition to launching an online risk assessment and in-store support at Tesco pharmacies, Tesco has also produced a series of healthy and budget-friendly recipes, which are available through the Tesco Real Food website.
Chris Askew, Chief Executive at Diabetes UK said: "This trend of rapidly-increasing early-onset type 2 diabetes is incredibly troubling. It marks a shift from what we’ve seen historically and should be taken as a serious warning to policymakers and our NHS.
"If you’re under 40, you’re not immune to type 2 diabetes. It is vital that you check your risk now and that individuals, no matter what their age or background, are given the opportunity to access support to reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes."
To find out more about the risks of type 2 diabetes and to check whether you are at risk, go to:
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