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Risk assessment for type 2 diabetes

All adults aged 40 and above should have a risk assessment for type 2 diabetes, according to the healthcare watchdog.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) has also recommended that people aged 25 and above of South Asian, Chinese, African-Caribbean or Black African descent, who are at a higher risk, should also perform a test.

People can be assessed at their GP surgery or community pharmacy but they can also perform self assessments online.

Nice said the new recommendations will help to identify people at high risk so they can be offered advice to help them prevent or delay the condition.

The body also recommends that health and community services, workplaces, job centres, faith centres, libraries and shops should offer risk assessments so they are more widely available.

If someone is identified as high risk they should contact their GP for a blood test to confirm the level of risk, the new Nice guidelines suggest.

Nice also recommends that people who are identified as high risk should be given an "evidence-based, intensive lifestyle-change programme" to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is a long-term condition that occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin for it to function properly, or when the body's cells do not use insulin properly.

Diabetes currently affects almost three million people in the UK, of which about 90% will have type 2 diabetes.

Professor Mike Kelly, director of the Centre for Public Health Excellence at Nice, said: "Almost three million people are currently affected by diabetes, and it is likely to affect many more in the future."