People in Fareham and Gosport are more likely to have diabetes than rest of the country

RESIDENTS in The News' area are being urged to think about 'living healthier lifestyles' as new figures revealed people in Fareham and Gosport are more likely to have diabetes than the rest of the country.

Thursday, 13th May 2021, 4:55 am

Data from NHS Digital shows that in 2019/20 7.8 per cent of people in Fareham and Gosport were living with diabetes.

This is higher than the average in the south east of 6.4 per cent and higher than the average in England of 7.1 per cent in that time.

Statistics also showed an increase in cases of diabetes in Fareham and Gosport from 12,412 to 13,023 between 2018 and 2019.

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A device to measure blood sugar levels prior to administering insulin. Picture: NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP via Getty Images

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Dr Zaid Hirmiz, a clinical director for the Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group, said: 'We recognise that cases of diabetes are above the national average in our community, including parts of Fareham and Gosport where there are areas of deprivation.

'We know that in these areas lifestyle choices can often lead to increased weight - which is a risk factor for developing diabetes.

'We do a lot of work to support primary care clinicians to actively identify patients at risk of developing diabetes to ensure referral to the National Diabetes Prevention Programme.

'Patients with type 2 diabetes can also take part in a weight management programme, supported by their GP practice to help them put their diabetes into remission.'

According to the NHS Digital data 6.5 per cent of adults in Portsmouth were living with diabetes in 2019/20.

This is above the south east average of 6.4 per cent but fewer than in Fareham and Gosport.

The number of people with diabetes in Portsmouth also rose from 2018/19 to 2019/20 from 11,612 to 12,331.

Consultant in public health at Portsmouth City Council, Claire Currie, said: 'We're doing a lot of work in the city to reduce obesity, which is a major risk factor in developing type 2 diabetes. Some of this focuses on children as the behaviours learnt then can carry into later life.

'Our wellbeing service provides free weight management support, and can also support residents to quit smoking and reduce how much alcohol they drink, which are also risk factors for type 2 diabetes.

'It's important to remember that physical activity has a role to play in obesity, not just diet and we're working with partners to help get residents more active.

'Ultimately to shift the balance to people living healthier lifestyles we need to make it easy for people to make better choices around diet and exercise, which needs action at every level.

'We would encourage further initiatives from central government to ensure that we can incentivise providers to produce and offer healthy food in all settings.'

Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person's blood sugar level to become too high. There are two main types of diabetes - type 1 and 2.

Around 90 of all people with diabetes in the UK have type 2.

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