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Two thirds of BT people take action to reduce diabetes risk


Working alongside Diabetes UK, BT has released a report today following a 6-week Work Fit programme to raise awareness of Type 2 diabetes amongst its 110,000 employees. The company’s aim was to get people to think about changing their behaviour and to encourage people to think about whether they are putting themselves at risk. This report reveals that 33 per cent of BT staff who reported on their screening results after taking the diabetes test required further advice and 26 per cent had to have further tests as they were ‘at risk’ from the condition.

The Work Fit Diabetes campaign report found that from the 5,200 people that completed the online risk assessment, 341 were at ‘high risk’ of developing type 2 diabetes with 2,003 at ‘medium risk’. Results also showed a high lack of awareness surrounding the condition with 45 per cent of respondents rating their level of knowledge as ‘none’ to ‘very little’. Two thirds of BT people who responded to the post campaign survey have now taken action to reduce their diabetes risk.

Diabetes currently affects 246 million people worldwide and is expected to affect 380 million by 2025. It has been estimated that 8,000 of BT’s employees already have the life-threatening condition, whilst 2.5 million people in the UK have diabetes with a further 500,000 undiagnosed with Type 2 (1).

Dr Catherine Kilfedder, BT group health advisor, said: “At BT we take our employees health very seriously and with a significant rise in type 2 diabetes globally, our aim was to give our people valuable knowledge to decrease their risk of developing the disease. We’re encouraged by the sheer numbers who attended the roadshows and website hits of over 44,000. It is heartening that two thirds of BT people surveyed after the campaign reported that they had taken action to reduce their risk of diabetes either through changes in their diet or increased physical activity.”

Simon O’Neill, Director of Care, Information and Advocacy, Diabetes UK: “Diabetes UK is delighted with the overwhelming response from BT employees. It is absolutely vital that more people are made aware of the measures that can be taken to reduce their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and the importance of diagnosing the condition as soon as possible.”

Notes to editors
(1) Source: Diabetes UK
There are six modules to the Work Fit: Diabetes Campaign
Module 1 – Introduction to diabetes
Module 2 – Prevention of Type 2 diabetes
Module 3 – Treatment
Module 4 – Myths and FAQ’s
Module 5 – Workplace issues
Module 6 – Diabetes UK info

About BT
BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications solutions and services operating in 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to our customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband and internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, Openreach, BT Retail and BT Wholesale.

In the year ended 31 March 2009, BT Group’s revenue was £21,390 million.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

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