diabetes-777002_640 A programme aimed at preventing the development of Type 2 diabetes in people at high risk of the disease has achieved “promising” early results, a study has found.

It comes weeks after Public Health England revealed there were five million people identified as being at high risk of the condition, in the build up to the roll out of the national NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme.

The new group education programme called Let’s Prevent Diabetes, developed by the Leicester Diabetes Centre, is a face-to-face programme which covers the risks and implications of developing Type 2 diabetes as well as how to make lifestyle changes to prevent its progression.

Professor Melanie Davies, Professor of Diabetes Medicine at the University of Leicester’s Leicester Diabetes Centre and Honorary Consultant, University Hospitals of Leicester, who has led the team developing the new programme, said: “The early evidence is very promising because, as the only Type 2 diabetes prevention programme specifically developed in the UK, Let’s Prevent Diabetes has the potential to really make a difference.

“Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition where the body cannot keep blood glucose levels within a healthy range and can cause devastating complications. The most efficient way to address the problem of diabetes and its complications is to prevent it from developing – taking a proactive rather than reactive approach.”

Research carried out by the Leicester Diabetes Centre and published in the Journal of Public Health has reported on the progress on the development of Let’s Prevent Diabetes.

The researchers concluded: “Qualitative and quantitative data suggested that intervention resulted in beneficial short-term behaviour change such as healthier eating patterns, improved health beliefs and greater participant motivation and empowerment. We also demonstrated that recruitment strategy and data collection methods were feasible.”

A full large-scale trial conducted over three years in nearly 900 subjects has just been completed and the results are in the process of being analysed and will be presented at international congresses later this year.

The Leicester Diabetes Centre is an international centre of excellence in research, education and innovation, which is a partnership between the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and the University of Leicester and led by Professor Kamlesh Khunti and Professor Davies. It is located at Leicester General Hospital.