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Diabetes more likely to affect men than women

This year, Men's Health Week, from 11 – 17 June, focuses on diabetes and the importance of seeking care at first sign of symptoms.

Across London, men are more likely to get diabetes than women. They are also more likely to have more complications, including amputation of feet or limbs and even death.

During Men's Health Week, NHS Lambeth CCG wants to raise awareness of the risk to men of developing diabetes and encourage them to get advice and support as soon as they develop any symptoms. As with many high profile conditions, obesity is the main underlying cause of diabetes and by taking action to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle, people can reduce their likelihood of developing diabetes.

Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person's blood sugar level to become too high. There are two main types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 diabetes – where the body's immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin
  • Type 2 diabetes – where the body doesn't produce enough insulin, or the body's cells don't react to insulin

Type 2 diabetes is far more common than type 1. In the UK, around 90% of all adults with diabetes have type 2. The more people are aware of it, the more likely they are to make healthy changes and stop or delay the onset of diabetes. Currently in the UK, one-in-five men die before the age of 65 and experts says many of the deaths are preventable. These statistics could be due to men's reluctance to see their GP with ailments that may be symptoms of the disease.

Dr Adrian McLachlan, Chair of NHS Lambeth CCG said: "Ill health is significantly higher among men and a lot of that can be traced back to men simply not being proactive with their health and care. It is important that men in Lambeth are actively engaged in their health and wellbeing, while maintaining a balanced diet and frequent exercise to prevent diabetes."
It is important that men visit their GP if they notice any of the following symptoms or have any other concerns about their health:

  • feeling very thirsty
  • urinating more frequently than usual, particularly at night
  • feeling very tired
  • weight loss and loss of muscle bulk
  • itching around the penis, or frequent episodes of thrush
  • cuts or wounds that heal slowly
  • blurred vision

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