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Screening may prevent diabetes

Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health
File photo shows a person with diabetes testing his blood sugar level.
AP FILE PHOTO |

With more than 86 million Americans living with prediabetes and nearly 90 percent of them unaware of it, the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today announced that they have joined forces to take urgent action to Prevent Diabetes STAT: Screen, Test, Act – Today™, and Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Section of the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health joins these national leaders in health in this critical effort.

Through Prevent Diabetes STAT, the AMA and CDC are sounding an alarm and shining a light on prediabetes as a serious medical condition. The Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health echoes the call for action and underscores the magnitude of this national issue with local and regional implications. People with prediabetes have higher than normal blood glucose levels but not high enough yet to be considered type 2 diabetes. Research shows that 15-30 percent of overweight people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within five years unless they lose weight through healthy eating and increased physical activity.

As an immediate result of their partnership, the AMA and CDC co-developed a toolkit to serve as a guide for physicians and other health care providers on the best methods to screen and refer high-risk patients to CDC-recognized diabetes prevention programs in their communities. The Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health is partnering with the diabetes educators throughout the state to promote the toolkit to physicians in their care teams. Additional information on Prevent Diabetes STAT is available online at http://www.PreventDiabetesSTAT.org and information about [organization’s work] is available at [insert organization Web site here]. There is also an online screening tool for patients to help them determine their risk for having prediabetes

Over the past two years, both the CDC and the AMA have been laying the groundwork for this national effort. In 2012, the CDC launched its National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) 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. Today, there are more than 530 of these programs across the country, including online options.

The AMA launched its Improving Health Outcomes initiative in 2013 aimed at preventing both type 2 diabetes and heart disease. This effort included 11 physician practice pilot sites in four states where care teams helped to inform the development of the AMA and CDC’s toolkit. In the coming months, the AMA will be identifying states in which to strengthen the linkages between the clinical care setting and communities to reduce the incidence of diabetes.

Prevent Diabetes STAT is a demonstration of a national, collective effort to prevent new cases of type 2 diabetes and get a handle on this public health epidemic. Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Section of the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health is committed to this critical effort which will serve as a catalyst to bring our nation together. Everyone can Prevent Diabetes…STAT!