One in ten: the male diabetes crisis

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A new report from the Men’s Health Forum highlights the diabetes crisis that is currently affecting men in the UK.

Today, one man in ten has diabetes, representing a one hundred percent increase in cases of the disease over the last twenty years. Men are more likely to develop diabetes than women, and more likely to experience complications, with the mortality rate for men aged 16-64 being double that of the mortality rate for women.

There is strong evidence to suggest that type 2 diabetes is preventable, and that exercise, diet and weight management are all factors that help prevent the disease developing over time. However the report describes that men are less likely than women to be aware that they are overweight and to adjust their lifestyles. Men are also more likely to suffer from complications of diabetes such as foot ulcers, amputation and eye problems. The report talks of a need for health policy makers and practitioners to address these issues by finding ways to better engage with men.

“The toxic combination of ever more men being overweight, men getting diabetes at a lower BMI and health services that don’t work well enough for working age men is leading to a crisis. We need urgent action.” Martin Tod, Chief Executive of the Men’s Health Forum

 

The NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NDPP) is a flagship programme jointly run by NHS England, Public Health England and Diabetes UK to identify people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and refer them on to a behaviour change programme. This free service offers tailored coaching support which includes education around lifestyle choices, advice on weight loss and physical activity.

The NDPP is designed to identify social groups that are particularly at high risk and who typically access healthcare less effectively. Just under half of those taking up the programme are men – a much higher proportion than typically attend weight loss programmes. The referral and attendance rates for men suggest that the programme is effective in reaching those of both sexes who are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The report argues that there is still work to do to ensure the programme is effectively engaging men at risk of developing the disease. It calls for the NDPP to ensure that it engages men effectively, and that a gender-sensitive strategies could help to improve update from men in the programme. It’s very encouraging to see the initial referral and participation rates by men in the NDPP programme, and we look forward to seeing the impact that the programme will have longer term.

Collecting and monitoring good quality data in diabetes prevention programmes is important to inform service design and delivery. A good patient management system can help to achieve this.

The iaptus patient record system was created alongside our partners and clients in the IAPT setting, and has been adapted for use by diabetes prevention services in the NDPP. iaptus has a built-in understanding of the routine collection of high quality patient experience and outcomes data, and is entrusted with the data of over three million patients.

If you’re a diabetes prevention service provider interested in finding out more about how iaptus can support data collection for more efficient service delivery and improved outcomes please get in touch. We look forward to hearing from you.

Men’s Health Week 2018 is focussing on the risks to men of developing diabetes and the support and care men need to prevent and manage diabetes. Follow the conversation about on twitter #talkaboutdiabetes and #MensHealthWeek2018