MORE than 50 people who attended a Healthy Lifestyle Roadshow in Barnstaple were identified as being at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
A total of 58 people in Barnstaple were referred to their doctor, say Diabetes UK and Bupa. Diabetes UK offered free risk assessment tests to 121 people to identify their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes now and in the next ten years.
The people referred to their GP were considered to have a moderate to high risk.
The roadshow on April 3 and 4 also offered advice on lifestyle changes, such as adopting a healthy diet low in fat, salt and sugar and taking regular physical activity.
Up to 80 per cent of Type 2 diabetes cases could be prevented from these changes.
Diabetes UK is the charity partner for the Bupa Great Run Series, and the money raised from these runs is being used to fund the roadshows.
Devon has the highest number of people in the South West estimated to have undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes.
Graham Cooper, Diabetes UK South West regional manager, said: "Diabetes is one of the biggest health challenges facing the UK today.
"It's frightening that there are almost 17,900 people in Devon that have Type 2 diabetes but have no idea they do.
"We've been available at the roadshow to help people find out more about their own personal risk, as well as providing information and advice which we hope will help them live more healthily.
"Diabetes is a serious, lifelong condition and the number of people living with it is on the rise.
"The first step to stopping this increase is making people aware of what they can do to prevent Type 2 diabetes. We want to let them know that we are here to support them make the changes they need."
Barnstaple Mayor Lesley Brown attended the event on Thursday and had a risk assessment.
She said: "I found the process of assessment to be friendly and useful and I was given some simple diet advice to make a few changes."
Helen Vaughan Jones, Director of Corporate Affairs, Bupa UK, said: "We're pleased that the Diabetes UK roadshow in Barnstaple has helped to educate so many about the risks factors associated with Type 2 diabetes."
There are more than 34,600 people in Devon who have been diagnosed with diabetes.
When diagnosed early and managed well, people living with the condition can go on to live long and healthy lives.
But if Type 2 diabetes is left untreated or blood glucose levels are not well managed, the condition can result in serious health complications such as heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and amputation.
People who were unable to attend the roadshow can still test whether they are at risk of diabetes by taking the free Diabetes UK Risk Score test online at www.diabetes.org.uk/road show/riskscore1
If after taking the test they are found to be at moderate or high risk of developing the condition they should visit their GP.