(Salt Lake City, UT) – One in three Americans (approximately 86 million people) has prediabetes, a condition in which blood glucose (sugar) levels are high, but not high enough yet to be classified as Type 2 diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in Utah alone, as many as 33% of adults may have prediabetes. While many are familiar with Type 2 diabetes, nearly 90 percent of people with prediabetes are not aware they have the condition. People with prediabetes have increased risks to their long-term health, including developing Type 2 diabetes, heart attack, and stroke.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA), American Medical Association (AMA), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recently partnered with the Ad Council on the first national prediabetes awareness campaign. The campaign is designed to help people learn their risk of developing diabetes and take steps to reverse the condition. The Healthy Living through Environment, Policy& Improved Clinical Care (EPICC) program at the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) is proud to lend its support to the campaign, which has a simple but strong message: no one is excused from prediabetes. The campaign encourages people to take a short online test at DoIHavePrediabetes.org to assess their risk for prediabetes.
Celsa Bowman, spokesperson for UDOH EPICC said, "Our goal is to help people lose five to seven percent of their body weight and increase their physical activity. Moderate weight loss of just 10 pounds for a person who is 200 pounds can cut the risk in half for developing Type 2 diabetes."
If left untreated, current trends estimate that 15 to 30 percent of people with prediabetes could develop Type 2 diabetes within five years. However, prediabetes can often be reversed through weight loss, diet changes, and increased physical activity. Diagnosis is key; research shows that once people are aware of their condition, they are much more likely to make the necessary lifestyle changes. A rise in the incidence of Type 2 diabetes presents a significant threat to Utah, potentially increasing healthcare costs and increasing demand on the healthcare system. In an effort to reverse this trend, UDOH EPICC is supporting the national effort and working to make an impact in the community through self-management classes and promoting prediabetes awareness.
Additional information on the campaign is available online at DoIHavePrediabetes.org. Information about UDOH EPICC is available at choosehealth.utah.gov.
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