The sooner that type 2 diabetes is diagnosed, the better. This can help reduce the risk of a person going on to develop devastating complications. Early identification can also spot people at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and help them delay or prevent the condition.
What action needs to happen?
We support the recommendations of the UK Expert Committee that those with an HbA1c of 42-47mmol/mol (6.0-6.4%) should be considered high risk, even if asymptomatic.
We currently use the term “at high risk of type 2 diabetes” for those with Non-diabetic Hyperglycaemia. Although the term 'prediabetes' has become more common in the lay press, in general we won’t use that term because of the lack of clarity over what is meant by it.
We support NICE public health guidance 38 but also recommend that there needs to be a systematic approach to identifying people with type 2 diabetes early, which identifies and targets high risk groups no matter where someone lives in the UK. The various prevention programmes designed to tackle type 2 diabetes in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland are crucial in identifying these groups early. It is important that this is rolled out across the entirety of the UK. Therefore Diabetes UK and Diabetes UK Cymru also recommend the development of a prevention programme for Wales.
Download our full position statement, Early identification of people with type 2 diabetes, April 2020 (PDF, 1.3MB).