Developing risk assessment tools for Type 2 diabetes


Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) is a common metabolic disorder, preceded by a pre-diabetic state of impaired glucose regulation (IGR), from which the progression to diabetes is more likely, but not inevitable. T2DM and IGR are associated with increased morbidity and mortality, largely due to cardiovascular complications. Because these conditions are often asymptomatic, many cases remain undiagnosed and untreated.

Population-based screening studies have revealed that 1/5 participants have undiagnosed IGR/T2DM, with much higher rates in Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) populations. Screening for diabetes in certain groups has been recommended in order to detect cases before complications develop.

Leicester has a multi-ethnic population. Figures from the 2001 census showed that ethnic minorities make up around 30 per cent of the population – predominantly of Indian origin (25.7 per cent). South Asians have a much higher risk of T2DM than White Europeans.


Accurately identifying people who are at an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, or impaired glucose regulation (IGR), helps healthcare professionals effectively target screening tests. University Hospitals Leicester, working with Leicester University, decided to find a way to better identify patients at risk of already having or developing IGR or Type 2 diabetes.

The aim of the project was to develop two tools for identifying those at risk of Type 2 diabetes or IGR.

  1. A self-assessment score for people from a multi-ethnic population to assess their own risk, developed in partnership with Diabetes UK
  2. An automated tool for identifying people at risk using GP practice databases.

Risk scores can be used to identify those at high risk of diabetes. Various risk scores have been developed for the purpose of screening for undiagnosed T2DM and in some cases IGR. However, none have been specifically developed or validated in a UK multi-ethnic population.

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Dr Laura Gray

Job title:
Lecturer of Population and Public Health Sciences
Place of work:
University of Leicester, Dept. of Health Sciences, 22-28 Princess Road West, Leicester, LE1 6TP
+44 (0)116 2525491


Self assessment score
Leicester diabetes research

Quality In Care Diabetes

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