A new study has found that screening for Type 2 Diabetes, followed by early treatment, could result in considerable health benefits, save lives and ease pressure on NHS services.


Research led by scientists at the University of Michigan and the MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge, has shown that screening and prompt follow-up treatment reduces risk of cardiovascular disease or death within a five-year period considerably.


The study highlighted how the early detection of Type 2 diabetes could prevent the kinds of associated health complications that have often started to affect patients by the time they are diagnosed. The study estimates that there are over 600,000 undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes sufferers in the UK, which is why eastern regional manager for Diabetes UK, Sharon Roberts, wants to see an NHS Health Check offered to everyone who is eligible:


“Half of all people with diabetes are already showing signs of complications by the time they are diagnosed, which is why it is so important that people with Type 2 diabetes are diagnosed as early as possible.”
Sharon Roberts, Eastern Regional Manager Diabetes UK



Simulations made by the study predicted that over 10 years, a 3-year delay in diagnosis and treatment would mean a cardiovascular event for 22.4% of Type 2 diabetes sufferers. A delay of six years would increase this figure to almost 26%. In contrast, early screening and treatment would to reduce that figure to 18.4%. Over 10 years, this would mean a 29% total reduction in relative risk of a cardiovascular event for undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes sufferers. That’s difficult to argue with.


Complications from Type 2 diabetes are extremely traumatic for patients and their families and very costly for the NHS. The study concluded that an early warning screening for Type 2 diabetes could prevent major health complications and cardiovascular complications, as well as saving the NHS considerable money and resources, which could be deployed elsewhere.


If you’re concerned about Type 2 diabetes, more information is available at NHS Choices. To see a GP out of hours, you first need to find out if you’re registered at one of these surgeries in the Richmond area.