UK Stakeholder | Press Releases | NHS England | 29 August 2023
Tens of thousands of people in England living with early onset type 2 diabetes will benefit from more intensive and targeted care, thanks to a world-first initiative being rolled out by the NHS.
Around 140,000 people aged 18 to 39 years old will receive additional tailored health checks from healthcare staff, and support with diabetes management, such as blood sugar level control, weight management and cardiovascular risk minimisation.
Under the ambitious new programme, named ‘T2Day: Type 2 Diabetes in the Young’, patients will benefit from extra one-to-one reviews as well as the option of new medicines and treatments where indicated, to help better manage their diabetes.
Addressing the additional risks associated with the condition during pregnancy, there will also be dedicated support available for women, including access to contraception and folic acid supplements.
Backed by £14.5 million, local health teams will be supported to roll out the new scheme to help minimise the risk of these people developing health complications and severe illness and to support a reduction in health inequalities.
Eligible individuals may also be able to access the NHS Type 2 Diabetes Path to Remission Programme – a year long programme including 12 weeks of low-calorie total diet replacement products and support to re-introduce food, with the aim of supporting participants to improve their blood sugar levels, reduce diabetes-related medication and in some cases put their type 2 diabetes into remission.
The NHS is the first health system in the world to put in place a national, targeted programme for this high-risk group of people.
Early onset type 2 diabetes is more aggressive than later onset type 2 diabetes and is more prevalent in people living within deprived areas and individuals from minority ethnic groups.
Defined as a serious disease by medical experts, early onset type diabetes is associated with premature mortality, worse long-term health outcomes, and higher risk of diabetes-related health complications, such as sight loss, kidney failure, amputation, heart attacks and strokes.
Professor Jonathan Valabhji, National Clinical Director for Diabetes and Obesity said: “Type 2 diabetes in people under 40 is a growing problem globally – England is no exception, meaning there is an ever-increasing challenge for the NHS.
“We know this age group is least likely to complete vital annual health checks but we want to ensure people are able to manage their diabetes well and reduce the risk of serious complications, which is exactly why we have embarked on an ambitious and world-first initiative called T2Day: Type 2 Diabetes in the Young.
“The programme will provide targeted intervention for each person under the age of 40 living with type 2 diabetes, including additional reviews focused on completing proven diabetes care processes, managing blood sugar levels, weight management, preparation for pregnancy, and supporting any unmet psychological or social needs.
“We are delighted to roll out this initiative, which we hope will be a big step forward to improving care in this high-risk group of individuals.”
Analysis of the National Diabetes Audit has shown that the rate at which young adults are diagnosed with early-onset type 2 diabetes has risen faster than the rate of diagnosis in over 40s in England.