Sunday, September 28, 2014

Employers play an important role in diabetes prevention

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Over 86 million US adults- more than 1 in 3 - have prediabetes.* A person with prediabetes has a blood sugar level higher than normal, but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. Without lifestyle changes to improve their health, 15% to 30% of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within five years.

UnitedHealthcare’s Robyn Harmon recently discussed prediabetes on CBS Denver and explained how small steps can help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. Preventing type 2 diabetes starts with lifestyle change, including “Eating healthier, exercising more, and losing weight.” Robyn says “If you lose just 5-7% of your body weight no matter where you’re starting, you can very likely prevent your conversion from prediabetes to type 2 diabetes by up to 58%.” UnitedHealthcare offers the CDC evidence-based Diabetes Prevention Program at no cost to their members who are part of an employer-sponsored health benefit plan.

Employers play an important role in the prevention of type 2 diabetes by offering the Diabetes Prevention Program as a covered health benefit to their employees. To promote prediabetes awareness and help prevent type 2 diabetes, employers can:

  • Encourage employees to call 1-800-DIABETES to find a Diabetes Prevention Program in their area
  • Use pre-existing communication channels to educate employees about their risk for prediabetes and the Diabetes Prevention Program 
  • Negotiate with their health plan to include the Diabetes Prevention Program as a covered health benefit

For more information about adding the Diabetes Prevention Program as a covered health benefit, contact Becky DiOrio becky.diorio@state.co.us.

*Source: CDC National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2014

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