More than one million people in the UK may have undiagnosed type 2 diabetes. Community pharmacists could be ideally placed to assess those at risk of developing the condition because their pharmacies are frequently visited by the public.
A total of 21,302 patients in 1,513 UK pharmacies completed a questionnaire and had their waist circumference measured and body mass index (BMI) calculated between January 2013 and September 2013. Around 3,500 assessments were returned, of which 3,427 were complete.
Researchers from the University of East Anglia and Boots UK found that 29% of patients who completed the assessment had a moderate to high chance of developing type 2 diabetes in the next ten years, confirming that pharmacists can identify patients who have an increased risk of developing the condition.
Pharmacists gave people at risk advice on lifestyle changes that could reduce their chance of developing type 2 diabetes and referred them to their GP if necessary. The research appears in the
International Journal of Pharmacy Practice
(online, 22 July 2014).