Study to help prevent the development of diabetes

Diabetes experts are carrying out a study to find the best way of screening people with learning disabilities to prevent them from developing diabetes.

They are also looking at developing an education programme to help individuals as well as their family and carers.

Professor Kamlesh Khunti (pictured), Professor of Primary Care Diabetes & Vascular Medicine from the Diabetes Research Centre is conducting the Stop Diabetes study in conjunction with Professor Sabyasachi Bhaumik from Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, which provides community and mental health services.

Professor Khunti said: “We are trying to estimate the prevalence of diabetes and cardiovascular risk factors in people with learning disabilities. This is a very under-researched group and we have very little information on the true prevalence of diabetes and cardiovascular risk factors in this group.

“Adults with learning disabilities tend to have more health problems than the general population and are less likely to access help.

“Additionally, due to the combination of lifestyle factors and certain types of prescribed medication, people with learning disabilities may be at increased risk of developing type-2 diabetes, heart disease and strokes.”

The eight-week education programme being developed covers issues such as healthy eating and increased activity.

The Leicester Diabetes Centre, a leading Centre in diabetes research and education, is led by Professor Kamlesh Khunti and Professor Melanie Davies.

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