America and England have joined forces on two films for healthcare professionals to show how they are reducing the combined 91m people who are on-track to develop type 2 diabetes.
Top experts from both sides of the Atlantic shared tactics to reduce the 86 million Americans and 5 million people in England at increased risk of developing the disease.
The countries are two of just a handful running evidence-based diabetes prevention programmes and plan to learn from each other’s successes and trials.
Healthier You: the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme is run collaboratively by NHS England, Public Health England and Diabetes UK.
England was the first country to implement a national evidence-based diabetes prevention programme at scale, which launched fully in March.
In the same month, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that a project led by the YMCA had been shown to produce cost savings for Medicare participants, marking a critical step for HHS to eventually expand their Diabetes Prevention Program for those at high risk of type 2 diabetes.
In the US, the total cost of diagnosed diabetes in 2012 was $245 billion, while in the UK, type 2 diabetes costs the NHS £9bn a year.
Professor Jonathan Valabhji from London, England and Dr Matt Longjohn from Kalamazoo, Michigan in the US participated in Medscape interviews to help healthcare professionals across both countries understand more about the available resources for their patients and how they can help reduce their risks of developing type 2 diabetes.
Prof Valabhji, NHS England’s National Clinical Director for Diabetes and Obesity, said: “Type 2 diabetes is a tidal-wave threatening to swamp England and also America. To be able to spread the message of what we are doing in England and the USA and for others to learn from our experience is invaluable
“The US programme and ours have many similarities but also many differences and therefore we will be watching carefully to see how our results vary and how our approach can be adapted to make it more successful.”
Healthier You: the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme will start this year across England with a first wave of 27 areas covering 26 million people, half of the population, and making up to 20,000 places available.
This will rollout to the whole country by 2020 with an expected 100,000 referrals available each year after.
Those referred will get personalised help to reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes including education on healthy eating and lifestyle and help to losing weight.
There are currently 2.8 million people with type 2 diabetes in England with around 200,000 new diagnoses every year.
While type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented and is not linked to lifestyle, type 2 diabetes is often preventable through lifestyle changes.
In England, one in six people in hospital have diabetes, and while diabetes is often not the reason for admission, they often need a longer stay in hospital, are more likely to be readmitted and are at a higher risk of death.