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Issue:- 15 July 2009

Middle-aged men twice as likely to have diabetes as women

MEN in the North West aged 35 to 54 are almost twice as likely to have diabetes compared to their female counterparts, according to a new report from leading health charity Diabetes UK.

Diabetes in the UK 2009: Key statistics on diabetes reveals that 2.4% of men in England aged 35 to 44 have diabetes compared to 1.2% of women of the same age. This equates to around 12,070 men compared to around 6,200 women in the North West. In addition, the report says 6% of men aged 45 to 54 have diabetes compared to 3.6% of women their age, or around 26,820 men compared to around 16,510 women in the North West.

Statistics also show that diabetes has risen 4 times faster in men aged 35-44 over the last 12 years compared to women of the same age, and that, consistently, more men are overweight than women.  Approximately 90% of people with diabetes have Type 2 diabetes, which is strongly linked to lifestyle factors such as diet and physical activity levels. The condition can be genetic, but many people are overweight when they are diagnosed.

Helen Pattie, Regional Manager for Diabetes UK North West, said:- "It's very worrying that men of this age in the North West are developing diabetes at such an alarming rate compared to their female counterparts. Most of them will have Type 2 diabetes which is strongly linked to lifestyle and can be prevented in many cases by eating a healthy balanced diet and doing regular physical activity.

Women should not rest on their laurels, either. They may tend to develop the condition later in life, but the risk of death from heart disease associated with Type 2 diabetes is about 50% greater in women than it is in men - not a statistic to be ignored.

Diabetes UK is calling on everyone carrying extra weight to reduce their chances of developing Type 2 diabetes by leading a healthier lifestyle.

We must take action now to tackle Type 2 diabetes head-on."

Research shows that losing weight can reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes in those at high risk by 58% and physical activity can reduce the risk by 64%.  Risk factors for Type 2 diabetes include being over 40 years old, or over 25 if you're Black, Asian or from an ethnic minority group; having a large waist; being of Black or South Asian origin and having a family history of the condition. Type 2 diabetes can be undetected for 10 years or more and around half of people already have complications by the time they are diagnosed. At risk waist measurements are 37 inches or more for men, except those of South Asian origin who are at risk at 35 inches or more, and 31.5 inches or more for all women.

Diabetes is a serious condition. If not managed effectively it can lead to complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and amputation. 

 To find out if you are at risk of Type 2 diabetes and for more information on leading a healthier lifestyle visit:-


THE Duke of Westminster visited the NSPCC Hargreaves Centre on Wednesday, 8 July 2009, to see how counselling services help children and young people overcome the damaging effects of cruelty, domestic violence, and abuse.  NSPCC staff had the opportunity to tell His Grace about the vital work they do for children and their families when he visited the pioneering centre on Great Homer Street in Everton.

He was accompanied on his visit by the Hargreaves Centre’s biggest benefactor, Matalan magnate and Chairman of the Safe Place Appeal John Hargreaves, who kick-started the Safe Place Appeal project with a pledge of over £6million and subsequently opened the NSPCC’s Hargreaves Centre in June 2007, and Bill Ainscough, Patron of the Centre and Safe Place Board Member who himself donated £500k to the Safe Place Appeal.

Commenting on his visit, the Duke of Westminster said:- “I am pleased to have had the opportunity to visit the Hargreaves Centre and hear first hand about how the work here benefits young people across Merseyside and beyond. Having been involved with the NSPCC for many years, I believe there is no more important cause than protecting children from cruelty. It’s great to see the vital services at the Hargreaves Centre offering hope for children in Liverpool, both now and in the future.”

During his visit, the Duke was given a tour of the Hargreaves Centre by NSPCC Assistant Director Alex Leith, viewing facilities including play rooms, a sensory room and a secret garden where children and young people are encouraged to talk about their experiences in a relaxing environment.

Alex Leith, NSPCC Assistant Director for Cheshire and Merseyside, said:- “We were delighted to welcome the Duke of Westminster to the Hargreaves Centre and have the opportunity to talk with him about our work and the positive impact that our counselling and other services can have on children, young people and families across Merseyside.  Each week, up to 400 children and their families receive help and support from the Centre. The services provided mean that many children and families who have suffered domestic violence or abuse can face their futures with hope. The Centre brings together agencies from across the region to form groundbreaking partnerships which enable us to offer creative counselling work that meets the diverse needs of the children, young people and families and build an environment in which they feel safe from harm.”

Opened in 2007, the Hargreaves Centre is the largest NSPCC base outside London, providing children and young people with a safe place when they can be protected from harm. The centre houses a team to help children, young people and their families overcome domestic violence, a families and substance support team, working with pregnant substance users and women and families with young children, and Liverpool’s first ChildLine base where volunteer counsellors help and comfort children and young people in distress and danger from the Liverpool area and beyond.

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