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09-05-2011 | General practice | Article

GPs to help curb diabetes epidemic

Abstract

Preventing type 2 diabetes – population and community interventions

GPs working with commissioners and local authorities and services can help tackle the growing 'epidemic' of type 2 diabetes in England, according to new NICE guidance.

The guidance calls for better integration of national strategies on prevention of type 2 diabetes into local care, and for public health data to be used to identify local communities at high risk of developing the disease.

People at particularly high risk include poorer groups and people of South Asian, African-Caribbean, Black African and Chinese descent, NICE highlights.

Recommendations include adopting measures to reduce the stigma surrounding diabetes and counter the assumption that the condition is inevitable, as well as address misconceptions about what is a healthy weight.

Dr Neel Basudev, a GP in London who helped develop the guidance said: "As an inner London GP, I am seeing increasing numbers of patients in my practice with diabetes, which is a real concern... The recommendations in this guidance are wide-ranging but straight-forward, and I hope will go some way in helping this public health epidemic."

Chair of the guidelines development group, Professor Nick Wareham, from the Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit in Cambridge, said: "Population and community interventions that achieve small but significant shifts in people's diet and physical activity levels are likely to be the most effective way of reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes at a national level. I am confident that this guidance will help bring about the changes needed to stop people developing this serious, life-affecting condition."

GP News is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2011

By Caroline Price