The American Medical Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have launched a multi-year national campaign to reach the more than 86 million Americans who have pre-diabetes—90 percent of whom are unaware of it—and stop the onset of Type 2 diabetes.

“More than $245 billion each year in healthcare spending and reduced productivity is directly linked to diabetes,” said AMA President Robert M. Wah, M.D., during a conference call with members of the media. “The AMA and the CDC believe it’s time to bring an end to these dismal statistics. Together we’re sounding the alarm about pre-diabetes as a serious medical condition.”

Also see: Pilot Program Enlists Docs, Aims to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

According to Ann Albright, director of CDC's Division of Diabetes Translation, individuals with pre-diabetes have blood sugar levels that are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. “Research shows that 15 percent to 30 percent of overweight people with pre-diabetes will develop Type 2 diabetes within five years unless they take steps to prevent or delay its onset by making important lifestyle changes,” said Albright.

Under the Prevent Diabetes STAT (Screen, Test, Act - Today) initiative, the AMA and CDC have co-developed a toolkit to serve as a guide for physicians and other healthcare providers on the best methods to screen and refer high-risk patients to diabetes prevention programs in their communities. The toolkit along with additional information for physicians and other key stakeholders is available online. There also is an online screening tool for patients at www.preventdiabetesstat.org to help them determine their risk for type 2 diabetes.

“Research shows that screening, testing and referring people who are at risk for Type 2 diabetes is critical,” added CDC’s Albright. “Research also shows that when people know they have pre-diabetes they are more likely to take action.”

In 2012, CDC launched its National Diabetes Prevention Program based on research led by the National Institutes of Health, which showed that high-risk individuals who participated in lifestyle change programs, like those recognized by the CDC, saw a significant reduction in the incidence of Type 2 diabetes. Currently, there are more than 500 of these programs across the country, including online options.

 

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