People under 40 with type 2 diabetes will see their care ‘transformed’ thanks to a world-first NHS programme.
Tens of thousands of people in England living with the condition will receive personalized health checks and diabetes management support, such as blood sugar monitoring and weight advice.
Under the program, patients will benefit from additional individual reviews, as well as the choice of new medications and treatments.
Specific support will also be available for women, such as access to folic acid supplements, due to the additional risks associated with this condition during pregnancy.
Early-onset type 2 diabetes is more aggressive than late-onset type 2 diabetes and affects about 140,000 people aged 18-39 years.
(File photo) Under-40s with type 2 diabetes to see their care ‘transformed’ through NHS programme, world’s first
Defined by medical experts as a serious disease, it is linked to premature death, poorer long-term health, and increased risk of complications such as vision loss, kidney failure, amputations, heart attacks, and strokes.
The NHS is the first health system in the world to implement a specific national program for this high-risk group of people.
The plan will be implemented by local health teams to help minimize the risk of these people developing health complications and serious illness.
Eligible people can also access the NHS Type 2 Diabetes Pathway to Remission Programme, a one-year plan that includes 12 weeks of low-calorie diet replacement products and support to reintroduce food.
Professor Jonathan Valabhji, National Clinical Director for Diabetes and Obesity, said: “Type 2 diabetes in people under 40 is a growing problem globally, England is no exception, which means there is a growing challenge for the NHS”.
“We know that this age group is less likely to complete vital annual health checks, but we want to ensure that people can manage their diabetes well and reduce the risk of serious complications, which is exactly why we have embarked on a program ambitious and pioneering in the world initiative called T2Day: Type 2 diabetes in young people.
“The program will provide a targeted intervention for each person under the age of 40 living with type 2 diabetes, including additional reviews focused on completing proven diabetes care processes, managing blood sugar levels, managing weight, preparing for pregnancy and support any psychological problems or social needs.
(File photo) Eligible people can also access the NHS Type 2 Diabetes Pathway to Remission Programme, a one-year plan that includes 12 weeks of low-calorie diet replacement products and support for reintroduce food.
“We are delighted to launch this initiative, which we hope will be a big step forward in improving care for this high-risk group of people.” Analysis by the National Diabetes Audit has shown that the rate of diagnosis of early-onset type 2 diabetes in young adults has increased faster than the rate of diagnosis in people over 40 in England.
Research shows that, on average, a person diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at age 20 will have a reduced life expectancy of 11 years compared to a reduced life expectancy of two years when diagnosed at age 65.
Chris Askew OBE, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said: “This is a vital step in improving care for people who develop type 2 diabetes at a young age.”
‘Type 2 diabetes is a serious, life-changing disease. It can have more severe and acute consequences in younger adults and is more common in people from ethnic minorities and those living in the most deprived areas.
“However, we know that access to vital routine diabetes care is lowest in the 18-40 age group, putting those affected at higher risk of potentially devastating complications.”