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Diabetics urged to lead healthier lifestyles to reduce risk of heart attacks and strokes

PUBLISHED: 10:35 30 August 2018 | UPDATED: 10:35 30 August 2018

Downham Market GP and Diabetes UK clinical champion Dr Clare Hambling Picture: Diabetes UK

Downham Market GP and Diabetes UK clinical champion Dr Clare Hambling Picture: Diabetes UK

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People in Norfolk are being urged to live healthier lifestyles to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes caused by diabetes.

West Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group is promoting the importance of a healthy lifestyle following the British Heart Foundation analysis, which was released last week.

The charity is predicting that the number of people who will suffer a heart attack or stroke will rise by 29pc by 2035 because of the increasing number of people developing type 2 diabetes.

Figures show at least 52,560 people in Norfolk have diabetes with 11,610 of that number living in West Norfolk.

People who have diabetes are twice to four times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke than those who do not have the condition.

Diabetes UK clinical champion Dr Clare Hambling, who is a West Norfolk CCG governing body member and Downham Market GP, is highlighting the importance of a healthy lifestyle to avoid further complications.

She said: “Type 2 diabetes is not always preventable but adopting a healthy lifestyle may help reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and also help to protect you against vascular disease, such as heart attack or stroke.

“While many people know about the importance of blood sugar control in diabetes, other factors, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol, are also very important when trying to reduce your risk of complications.

“Anything you can do to reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and to improve your vascular health is incredibly important. Stopping smoking, maintaining a healthy weight by avoiding sedentary behaviour and remaining fit and active, with regular exercise, as well as a healthy balanced diet may help reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and also help protect you against vascular disease.”

Health professionals say making healthier lifestyle choices can reduce the risk of developing complications and vascular disease, such as regular exercise and not sitting down for too long, eating a healthy diet, keeping to correct weight, avoiding salt and processed foods and not drinking too much alcohol.

Dr Hambling added: “The importance of a healthy lifestyle cannot be underestimated.”

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