Call to avoid type 2 diabetes made during national campaign to prevent condition

A Leicester man with type 2 diabetes is urging people to do all they can to prevent being diagnosed with the condition which could potentially have “ruined his life”.

Patrick Quinn was diagnosed with the condition that is usually associated with poor lifestyle in 2014.

Speaking during Diabetes Prevention Week (16 - 22 April) that is currently take place across England and Wales, the 53-year-old said at the time of his diagnosis he was overweight and felt tired all the time.

Patrick started to watch what he ate, but he completely turned his life around after being asked to take part in a lifestyle research programme called DIASTOLIC.

The aim of the DIASTOLIC study is to compare the effects of a low energy diet with an exercise programme and standard care on the hearts of adults with type 2 diabetes.

The research is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the research arm of the NHS, through part of a research fellowship for Professor Gerry McCann, consultant cardiologist at Leicester’s Hospitals. It is conducted by a joint team from the NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre and Leicester Diabetes Centre.

Professor Melanie Davies CBE, who is Director of the BRC, the Leicester Diabetes Centre and is also Professor of Diabetes Medicine at the University of Leicester, said: “The cost of treating diabetes could hit £17 billion by 2035, crippling the NHS, which is why it’s crucial we find out the best way to treat type 2 diabetes and the complications associated with the condition.

“However, we do know it is possible to prevent a type 2 diabetes diagnosis if people are willing to make small lifestyle changes. This means losing weight, improving their diet and participating in regular exercise. Overhauling your lifestyle can be challenging, but living with type 2 diabetes is a serious condition and we urge people to do all they can to prevent developing it before it’s too late.”

Professor McCann also explained why the study was so important. He said: “Heart disease is the most common cause of death in patients with diabetes and they are at least three times more likely to develop heart failure. We need to find treatments that can effectively reverse heart damage in patients with diabetes to reduce their risk of complications and death.”

The NIHR Leicester BRC is a partnership between Leicester’s Hospitals, the University of Leicester and Loughborough University. It is focused on translational clinical research, taking new ideas from the laboratory bench to the patient’s bedside to improve health.

The Leicester Diabetes Centre is an international centre of excellence in diabetes research, education and innovation and is led by Professor Melanie Davies and Professor Kamlesh Khunti.