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Home » News and events » News archive » News archive 2020 » Health leaders call on residents to make the change for diabetes as study shows increased COVID-19 risk

Health leaders call on residents to make the change for diabetes as study shows increased COVID-19 risk

Local health leaders in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough have today called on residents across the region to “make the change” to their diet and lifestyle to better manage their diabetes or diabetes risk during Diabetes Week 2020, as a new study reveals that people living with diabetes are up to three and a half times more at risk of dying in hospital with COVID-19.

Diabetes Week 2020

The world-leading study funded by NHS England and Public Health England shows that people with diabetes are at significantly more risk from COVID-19. People living with type 2 diabetes are at double the risk of dying in hospital with the virus compared to those without the disease. The figure is even higher for people with type 1 diabetes, with those individuals at three and a half times the risk compared to people without diabetes.

An estimated 46,000 people in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough live with a diabetes diagnosis, and nationally someone gets diagnosed with diabetes every two minutes. Diabetes has a huge impact on long-term health, contributing to 169 amputations, 680 strokes, and 530 heart attacks every single week.

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group is now calling on people to  “make the change” for diabetes for Diabetes Week 2020, to reduce their risk of developing diabetes  through healthier lifestyle choices or, if already diagnosed, to manage their diabetes better . Maintaining a healthy body weight, stopping smoking, getting more regular exercise and eating well all contribute to reducing a person’s risk of diabetes, and can play an important part in preventing, managing or even putting diabetes into remission for existing patients.

People with diabetes can access a range of services in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, including self-help courses, remote peer support groups and dietary advice. If you are worried you might be at risk of getting diabetes, you can go to https://riskscore.diabetes.org.uk to assess your risk. Your GP, your pharmacist and a number of other services can help you remotely to reduce your risk whilst COVID-19 restrictions are in place.

Dr Jessica Randall-Carrick, Clinical Lead for Diabetes at the CCG and a local GP, says:

“This Diabetes Week 2020 we’re encouraging everyone to use COVID-19 as the incentive to help you “make a change” to your diet and lifestyle, to either reduce your risk of Type 2 Diabetes or to improve your diabetes management.

“Learning more about your condition can really help. You can self-refer to our online educational courses, including NDPP for those with pre-diabetes and MyDESMOND for those with Type 2 Diabetes.  The NHS has also launched a new Diabetes Advice Helpline which can be reached through the Diabetes UK support line on 0345 123 2399 Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm.

“All people with diabetes should continue to check their feet daily and to access their GP or specialist team for support, to help them manage their diabetes better. Our NHS services are still here to help you, so please do not hesitate to contact your GP, pharmacist or other medical professional if you have any concerns.

“Poorly managed Diabetes can have severe detrimental effects on people’s health, and with new research showing significantly higher risk for diabetes patients with COVID-19, now is the time for us all make the positive dietary and lifestyle changes that will help us stay healthy. “

Further information
  • The COVID-19 risk for people with diabetes is greater with increased age, ethnicity, obesity and socio-economic status and the risk increases as the average blood sugar level (HbA1c) increases. Only this latter risk factor – blood sugar or glucose– can be most easily modified, with dietary & lifestyle changes. Those aged under 40 years old are at lower risk, and no deaths are recorded in people with diabetes under 20 years old.
  • More information on online educational courses can be found via https://www.cambridgeshireandpeterboroughccg.nhs.uk/your-health-and-services/diabetes/
  • The NHS has launched a new Diabetes Advice helpline in response to disruption to normal services due to the COVID-19 outbreak and response. The helpline is accessible via Diabetes UK’s support line on 0345 123 2399, Monday to Friday 9am-6pm.