Diabetes and pre-diabetes affect millions of Americans and those numbers are increasing every year. These conditions can take a toll on the health of your employees, and your wallet. So what can you do about it?
More than 30 million people in the United States have diabetes and 1 in 4 don't even know they have it. Not managing your diabetes can lead to big consequences. Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death and medical costs and lost work and wages for people with diabetes total $327 billion annually. When people talk about diabetes, they're most likely referring to type 2. Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90-95% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. As the US population has aged and progressively become more overweight or obese in the last 20 years, the number of adults diagnosed with diabetes has more than tripled.
Chronic Condition Management
For the diabetics in your population, a disease management or chronic condition management program helps individuals understand their condition and encourages compliance with care. Clinical experts like nurses provide individuals with dedicated support including goal setting, education, personalized care recommendations, and frequent touch-base sessions. This type of coaching support for individuals with diabetes leads to a significant reduction in A1c levels. In addition, maintaining compliance with care plans helps close gaps in care while avoiding catastrophic events and emergency room visits.
But what about pre-diabetes? A person is considered to be pre-diabetic when their blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but they aren't high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. 84 million Americans have pre-diabetes, putting them at risk for developing diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
The good news is that you can help your pre-diabetic population lower their risk of developing diabetes. Losing a small amount of weight (usually 5-7% of your body weight) and getting regular exercise activity can lower their risk. Coaching support dedicated to helping individuals manage pre-diabetes helps participants develop healthy nutrition and activity habits to get active, lose weight, and stop their pre-diabetes from turning into full-blown diabetes.