Get Ahead of Diabetes

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Preventive care for diabetes has been in the works since the late 1990’s, when researchers set out to see if they could identify people at high risk, then intervene to delay or prevent disease development. They found when treated with an intensive lifestyle intervention program (150 minutes of exercise per week and a low-fat diet to achieve 7 percent weight loss), study participants reduced their risk of diabetes by 58 percent. Those over age 60 saw a 71 percent reduction. This research was then modified to work in a real-life classroom, which led to the CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), a yearlong program (offered in-person or online) that includes 16 weekly classes focused on eating night , exercising, and losing weight, followed by monthly maintenance meetings. In 2012 the YMCA partnered with the Center for Medicare & Medicaid innovation (CMMI) to determine if the DPP could cut Medicaid spending. And it did-significantly. Over 15 months, Medicare saved $2,650 per person enrolled-more than enough to cover the program cost (about $500). That’s huge– the Medicare program spends 1 in 3 of its dollars on diabetes. As a result , Medicare announced that starting January 1, 2018, it will cover the DPP for those diagnosed with prediabetes. Without healthy lifestyle changes , 15-30 percent of the 86 million Americans with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years, according tot the CDC. “Type 2 is one of the most preventable diseases there is, “says Heather Hodge, national director of the YMCA DPP. “Take advantage of the moment”.

Could you have prediabetes? Take the test to find out:

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