Saturday, 18 September 2010

Free Diabetes Risk Assessment Tool

Free Diabetes Risk Assessment Tool

A tool designed to identify people at high risk of impaired glucose regulation (prediabetes) and type 2 diabetes is being freely offered to healthcare professionals.

Leading health charity Diabetes UK is asking all healthcare professionals to logon to its website and sign up to receive the full, free assessment pack, which includes background information, frequently asked questions, an explanation on how to use the Diabetes Risk Score, and follow up materials.

The Diabetes Risk Score, developed in collaboration with the University of Leicester and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, is made up of seven questions based on the risk factors of type 2 diabetes. It aims to identify those with impaired glucose regulation (IGR) and determine a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes over the next 10 years.

The tool uses an evidence-based points system to identify if a person is at low, increased, moderate or high risk of developing diabetes. Based on this score, appropriate advice is provided in the form of lifestyle changes or a GP referral.

The Diabetes Risk Score has been used successfully at Diabetes UK Measure Up Roadshows and as part of various diabetes awareness-raising campaigns. The new risk assessment is a valuable tool in assessing people who do not fall within the NHS Health Check age range, as anyone over the age of 18 can use it with the exception of pregnant women; those from black, Asian and minority ethnic groups (who are at increased risk of diabetes from the age of 25 upwards) as well as those from socially deprived groups who are less likely to access local healthcare services.

Diabetes UK wants to see the Diabetes Risk Score more widely used in preference to the finger prick test, as it takes into consideration the condition’s risk factors. These avoid falsely reassuring people who may have a normal blood glucose level but might still be at risk of developing the condition.

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