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Major advertising campaign to target those at high risk of type 2 diabetes

Tesco National Partnership and Diabetes UK plan to launch £2 million advertising campaign aimed at improving awareness of the risks and complications of T2D in those at high risk of the condition.

Diabetes UK has revealed plans to launch a new £2 million advertising campaign targeting people at high risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D). The campaign, which is being supported through the Tesco National Charity Partnership with Diabetes UK, aims to help people understand their risk of developing the condition, highlight the seriousness of diabetes-related complications and give advice on risk reduction.

The campaign, which will consist of on-street, transport, radio and digital advertising, will be launched on 23 September 2013. Diabetes UK hopes to encourage people to check their risk of developing the condition and place emphasis on the family impact if one person is diagnosed with T2D. In particular, the 2-week campaign will raise awareness of the risk factors associated with T2D such as body weight, waist size, family history and ethnicity.

People will be able to check their risk online (www.diabetes.org.uk/riskscore) or by visiting a pharmacy participating in the campaign, including Tesco’s pharmacies. Those identified at high risk will then be referred to their GP for a T2D test and will be given preventative information on how to reduce their risk of developing the condition. It is thought that one in seven people in the UK are deemed as high risk for T2D.

The campaign is also anticipated to identify people who have undiagnosed diabetes, which can be present for up to 10 years before diagnosis. There are approximately 850,000 people in the UK with undiagnosed diabetes at present, with the risk of long-term complications increasing with the length of time it takes to diagnose the condition. 

Barbara Young, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said: “We are delighted to announce this advertising campaign. It should make a real difference in helping to curb the rise in T2D that is having a devastating impact of people’s lives and threatening to bankrupt the NHS. We want to make sure people who are at high risk know their risk status so they are in a position to do something about it and that they understand that diabetes is a serious condition that it is important to prevent if you possibly can.
 
“The fact that people at high risk will be tested for T2D at their GP practice will also mean there is an opportunity for GPs and practice nurses to initiate a conversation that can be the start of a process of them making the long-term lifestyle changes that can reduce their risk. For those people who already have T2D but don’t know it, getting diagnosed is the vital first step towards taking control of their condition and reducing their risk of long-term complications.
 
“Diabetes UK is being extremely careful to target high risk communities, based on factors such as ethnicity and social deprivation, so we avoid, as much as possible, targeting the worried well. We know healthcare professionals and pharmacists want to do everything they can to prevent people at high risk from getting T2D. We hope GPs will see the campaign as an opportunity to make a long-term difference to their patients’ health and so give it their full support.  Helping people to reduce their risk of T2D is a much better option than helping them to manage it once it has already developed.”

More information about the campaign can be found at www.diabetes.org.uk/awareness-campaign.

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