Nearly 63,000 people in west Hertfordshire are at risk of type 2 diabetes, as local GPs urge people to look after their health.

Around 30,000 people in Hertfordshire are diagnosed as diabetic, with 90 per cent of them living with type 2 diabetes.

That’s why local GPs are promoting the online NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, which makes it easier for people at risk from the disease to make simple lifestyle changes and reduce their risk.

Right now, doctors estimate that another 63,000 people in west Hertfordshire are at risk of developing the disease, and they hope that an extra 4,700 people will sign up to the programme and reduce risk by March next year.

Anyone over the age of 40, or who is overweight, has a history of high blood pressure, diabetes in the family or comes from some black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups has a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

If someone believes they could be at-risk, they are asked to take the online diabetes test to get a better sense of their risk – and if it’s high, they should talk to their GP about the programme.

The programme will provide information about diet, exercise and lifestyle as well as practical support to help you make the changes that will reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes can cause sight loss, kidney problems and amputation and puts people at much higher risk of serious complications if they catch Covid-19.

Dr Nicola Cowap, a GP at Bridgwater Surgery in Watford, said: “It’s much easier to avoid diabetes than it is to manage the disease once you’ve got it. Lots of people might be at risk without knowing the things that raise their chances of developing diabetes: age, weight, ethnicity, high blood pressure and family history.

“I urge everyone in at-risk group to see if this programme can help them. Take the online test or talk to your GP and find out what your chances really are. Type 2 diabetes is far too common, and anything you can do to reduce your risk is definitely worth doing.”

To take the diabetes test, visit: