Nurse helping senior woman with diabetesFive million people in England have blood glucose levels indicating a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to a new report published by Public Health England (PHE).

The report, compiled by PHE’s National Cardiovascular Health Intelligence Network (NCVIN), provides the most accurate and robust estimate of how many people over 16 in England have blood sugar levels in a range indicating a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, otherwise known as non-diabetic hyperglycaemia.

It was commissioned by the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NHS DPP), which will support people in reducing their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by helping them lose weight, be more active and have a healthier diet. An evidence review also published by PHE shows programmes similar to the NHS DPP can be successful in preventing 26% of people at high risk of type 2 diabetes from going on to develop the condition. People supported by diabetes prevention programmes lose on average 1.57kg more weight than those not on a programme aiming to significantly reduce diabetes risk.

Both reports have shaped what the NHS DPP will offer—at least nine months of information, support, group and oneto- one sessions on weight loss, physical activity and diet. Practitioners, clinicians, academics and the public are currently being consulted on a proposed outline of the programme, with a phased national roll-out starting in 2016.

Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive of PHE, said: “We know how to lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes: lose weight, exercise and eat healthily, but it’s hard to do it alone. PHE’s evidence review shows that supporting people along the way will help them protect their health and that’s what our prevention programme will do.” Type 2 diabetes, results in 22,000 early deaths and costs the NHS £8.8 billion every year.