November is American Diabetes month

Published 3:27 pm Monday, November 7, 2016

Did you know that 1 in 11 Americans today has diabetes?

Despite its prevalence, diabetes is an invisible disease. It affects men and women, people young and old, and people of all races, shapes and sizes. Often there are no outward signs from the 29 million Americans who fight this chronic illness every day, and many do not even know they have this disease.

That’s why there is a critical need to bring awareness and education while breaking down stereotypes, myths and misunderstandings about this growing public health crisis that affects so many Americans. This is exactly why the American Diabetes Association marks each November as American Diabetes Month — to bring extra attention to the disease and the tens of millions of people affected by it.

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Here are a few alarming statistics:

— Every 23 seconds someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with diabetes.

— 86 million Americans are at risk for diabetes.

— Diabetes causes more deaths than AIDS and Breast Cancer combined.

It is important to recognize that many times, type 2 diabetes can be prevented. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Diabetes Prevention Recognition Program is a key component of the Nationals Diabetes Prevention Program. The purpose of the DPRP is to recognize programs that have shown that they can effectively deliver a proven lifestyle change program (in person, virtual, or via distance learning) to prevent type 2 diabetes.

There are three objectives to this program:

— To assure program quality, fidelity to scientific evidence, and broad use of effective type 2 diabetes prevention lifestyle interventions throughout the United States.

— To develop and maintain a registry of organization that are recognized for their ability to deliver effective type 2 diabetes prevention lifestyle interventions to people at high risk.

— To provide technical assistance to local type 2 diabetes prevention programs to assist staff in effective program delivery and in problem-solving to achieve and maintain recognition status.

This proven program can help people with prediabetes and/or at risk for type 2 diabetes make achievable and realistic lifestyle changes and cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent.

To be eligible for referral to a CDC-recognized lifestyle change program, patients must meet the following requirements:

— be at least 18 years oldand

— Be overweight (body mass index  greater than 24; 22 if Asian) and

— Have no previous diagnosis of type 1 or type 2 diabetes and

— Have a blood test result in the prediabetes range within the past year:

— Hemoglobin A1C: 5.7 percent to 6.4 percent or

— Fasting plasma glucose: 100–125 mg/dL or

— Two-hour plasma glucose (after a 75 gm glucose load): 140–199 mg/dL or

— Be previously diagnosed with gestational diabetes

This year-long lifestyle change program consists of the following:

— 16 sessions during the first six months, which may be presented in person or via distance learning.

— Sessions are led by a trained “lifestyle coach.”

— Program follow a CDC-approved curriculum that is based on evidence from efficacy and effectiveness trials.

— At least six sessions during the last six months to reinforce and build on content.

— For evaluation of performance, programs recognized by the DPRP submit evaluation data to the DPRP every 12 months with data on participants’ progress in their classes.

For more information, contact the Clark County Health Department at 744-4482, and like us on Facebook for current class offerings.