South Florida Hospital News
Tuesday November 24, 2020
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August 2017 - Volume 14 - Issue 2
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Preventing Diabetes: The Silent Killer

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 86 million people within the United States have pre-diabetes, which is approximately one out of every three adults. Additionally, of those 86 million Americans, nine out of 10 individuals don't even know that they have pre-diabetes. Without diagnosis and proper interventions, 15 to 30 percent of people with pre-diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within five years. 

Currently, there is no cure for type 2 diabetes. In 2014, the CDC's National Diabetes Statistics Report found that roughly $245 billion was spent on medical costs and lost work or wages for individuals with diagnosed diabetes. Additionally, the report stated that the risk of death for adults with diabetes is 50 percent higher than for adults without diabetes. Furthermore, individuals with diabetes are more likely to develop serious health conditions such as blindness, kidney failure, heart disease, stroke, and amputations of limbs. 
 
It is essential that we work on preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes in high-risk individuals. Communities at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes include individuals who are 45 years of age or older, overweight or obese, have a family member with diabetes, not physically active, had gestational diabetes while pregnant, and of certain racial and ethnic backgrounds, such as African American, Hispanic/Latino American, American Indian, Pacific Islander and Asian American.
 
In a diabetes prevention program research study led by the National Institute of Health, individuals with pre-diabetes who were actively engaged in a structured lifestyle change program cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent. According to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, even after ten years, participants had a 34 percent lower rate of developing type 2 diabetes and 40 percent of program participants maintained their weight loss.
 
The National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), led by the CDC, can help individuals at high risk implement the necessary changes to help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.
 
The DPP is a year-long educational program that focuses on making and sustaining healthy lifestyles changes. The program consists of 16 weekly sessions, followed by 4 bi-weekly sessions, and then 6 monthly maintenance sessions. By attending each session of the program, participants learn how to eat healthy, add physical activity into their daily life, and properly manage their stress. Additionally, participants are able to connect with other individuals who have similar goals and receive support from a trained lifestyle coach.
 
The goal of the program is to help participants achieve a moderate weight loss by eating well and becoming more physically active. Within the first six months, individuals have a goal to lose at least 5 to 7 percent of their starting weight and achieve at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week. Within the second six months, participants are expected to keep off the weight they have lost and continue their participation in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week.
 
The cost of the DPP depends on the organization providing the educational program. Some organizations, like Holy Cross Hospital, provide the program at no cost for Broward County residents who qualify. However, other private providers can charge up to $500 per person to help cover expenses related to the program.

To learn more about the National Diabetes Prevention Program, visit the CDC's website at CDC.gov/diabetes/prevention.

Kristen Schroeder is a clinical education coordinator in the community outreach department of holy cross hospital. She can be reached at (954) 771-2381 or kristen.schroeder@holy-cross.com.

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