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Diabetes – The Problem

Posted by Caroline Hoffman, MS, RD, CDE on Jun 15, 2017 11:30:00 AM

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Right now there is a national effort to prevent type 2 diabetes. Diabetes in the U.S has been increasing throughout the decades and is expected to continue increasing significantly. 29 million people have type 2 diabetes—that’s 1 out of 11 people.1

Even more concerning is that 86 million U.S adults have prediabetes, and 9 out of 10 of them don’t know they do. It’s clear that this is a big challenge we are facing, and without weight loss and moderate physical activity, 15-30% of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years.1

Are you at risk for developing type 2 diabetes?

If you have any of the risk factors listed below, you may be at risk for type 2 diabetes.   

  • 45 or older 
  • Overweight/obese
  • Family history of diabetes
  • physical inactivity
  • polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • high bloood pressure
  • low "good" HDL cholesterol
  • elevate triglycerides 
  • medical history of gestational diabetes
  • member of certain ethnic groups- African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, Asian/Pacific Islander or Alaska Native.

Evidence has shown that at the prediabetes stage, type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by structured lifestyle modifications, which include healthy eating, increased physical activity, and moderate weight loss, along with behavioral counseling to maintain lifestyle changes.

What is the evidence that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed?

A large clinical research study, the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), was aimed at seeing if an intensive lifestyle change program or treatment with metformin (an oral diabetes drug that helps control blood sugar levels) could prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.

The results showed that individuals with prediabetes can reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent, through a structured lifestyle change program, that achieved moderate weight loss by reducing calories and increasing physical activity to at least 150 minutes per week. An even higher 71 percent risk reduction was observed in those 60 years and older. The group who took the medication, metformin, reduced the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 31 percent.2

In 2010, Congress authorized the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to establish the National Diabetes Prevention Program targeted at persons who have a high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The CDC designed an evidence-based and cost-effective lifestyle change program, based on the DPP study. The focus is on dietary change, increased physical activity, and developing strategies to maintain lasting lifestyle changes. In addition, the American Diabetes Standard of Care 2017 recommends an intensive lifestyle program for patients with prediabetes in order to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.3 

Where can you find support to help you prevent type 2 diabetes?

  • Have you been diagnosed with prediabetes? Join a diabetes prevention program in your local area.
  • Have you had or are you interested in Boston Heart testing? Once you have your Boston Heart test results participate in the Boston Heart Personalized Diabetes Prevention Program.

Type 2 diabetes is an epidemic in the United States.  The good news is that it can be prevented or treated with early detection and lifestyle changes.  If you would like to learn more about how Boston Heart’s Personalized Diabetes Prevention Program can help you prevent or delay type 2 diabetes with lifestyle changes, contact Customer Care at 877.425.1252, option 4. 

 

References:

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Diabetes Statistics Report: Estimates of Diabetes and Its Burden in the United States, 2014. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2014.
  2. Knowler WC, Barrett-Conner E, Fowler SE, et al.; Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group. Reduction in the incidence of type 2 diabetes with lifestyle intervention or metformin. N Engl J Med 2002; 346;393-403.
  3. American Diabetes Association. Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes-2017. Diabetes Care. 2017; 40 (Suppl 1).

Topics: About Stroke, Diabetes and CVD, Health and Wellness, Clinical and Science