More than 100,000 people across west London at high risk of developing diabetes could benefit from new tailored support to beat the disease.

Ealing , Hammersmith & Fulham , Hounslow , Kensington & Chelsea , and Westminster are among the first areas in the country to take part in a new project tackling what is considered to be one of the biggest threats to public health in the UK.

Patients in those boroughs who are at high risk of type 2 diabetes can be referred by their GPs for specialist attention, under the new programme, which was announced on March 22.

They will get personalised advice on improving their lifestyle through healthy eating and exercise to reduce the risk of developing the condition, which can lead to complications including blindness, amputation and heart disease.

More than 103,000 people across the five boroughs are estimated to have non-diabetic hyperglycaemia, putting them at high risk of diabetes.

People at risk of diabetes in west London

Borough

Estimated no of people with non-diabetic hyperglycaemia

Amount as percentage of population
Ealing 33,785 12.1%
Hammersmith & Fulham 13,044 8.7%
Hounslow 24,932 11.5%
Kensington & Chelsea 12,787 9.8%
Westminster 19,021 9.7%

* figures from Public Health England

The five boroughs are among 27 areas across the country chosen to take part in the first wave of the National Diabetes Prevention Programme, which is due to be extended nationwide by 2020.

Patients who are referred will be offered at least 13 education and exercise sessions over the course of nine months, with at least 16 hours of face-to-face time.

'Route to a healthier lifestyle'

Dr Tony Willis, clinical lead for diabetes for Central London, West London, Hammersmith and Fulham, Hounslow and Ealing Clinical Commissioning Groups, said: "The programme will help our GPs offer people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes a better service and a clear route towards a healthier lifestyle.

"This is great news for those at risk in our local population as it offers them an opportunity to reduce not just their diabetes risk but also the risk of developing other conditions related to weight and low levels of physical activity."

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More than one in 10 adults in Ealing and Hounslow are estimated to have non-diabetic hyperglycaemia, meaning their blood glucose levels are high but not within the diabetic range.

There are already 2.6m people with type 2 diabetes in England, and around 200,000 new cases are diagnosed each year, according to NHS figures. Obesity and an unhealthy lifestyle are the primary causes of the condition.