Diabetes Awareness Month (November) and World Diabetes Day (November 14) not only bring awareness to a condition that affects 1 in 11 people, but also provide an opportunity for reflection about health, wellness, and the risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), at least 86 million Americans are at risk for type 2 diabetes, and by 2050, 1 in 3 Americans will live with the condition. The statistics are alarming; so too are the human, clinical, and economic costs of the trend.
But there is good news. While some risk factors — like age, or a family history of diabetes — are beyond our control, the American Diabetes Association (as well as the American Medical Association, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends lifestyle change as the standard of care to combat prediabetes. And while an “eat healthier, exercise more” approach may sound obvious, delivering that message in a way that leads to meaningful, sustainable behavior change can be difficult. When done properly, it can not only help those with prediabetes reduce their risk of the disease; it can also lower risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, and other co-morbidities.
Helpful Diabetes Programs
There are many programs available — including ADA-sponsored in-person behavioral counseling programs — to assist those at risk with behavior change. To date, however, few of these programs have reached those with prediabetes, or connected with them at a moment where these individuals are most likely to commit to making the necessary changes.
Quest Diagnostics is committed to changing that. Quest recently announced that it formed a new relationship with the largest CDC-recognized provider of Diabetes Prevention Programs, Omada Health. Omada is a digital behavioral medicine company that offers a proven-effective version of the Diabetes Prevention Program, delivering the program to eligible individuals through their laptops, smartphones, or desktop computers.
More and more, employers understand the impact type 2 diabetes has on both their employees’ health, and on their organizations’ spend. In response, many seek to offer diabetes screenings, and increasingly, prevention programs for those at risk. The partnership with Omada Health aims to address that need.
Through this initiative, Omada and Quest will empower employers to identify individuals at the tipping point of chronic disease, and route those individuals into a program that can help build healthy habits, and better health. By leveraging Quest’s insights at the moment of diagnosis, employers will be able to reach at-risk individuals at a moment when they are most likely to change behavior. The result? More individuals with prediabetes will have access to the programs they need that could improve their health.
So this November, take the time to know your risk for type 2 diabetes, explore activities and programs that can help reduce your risk, and speak to your physician about your personal risk factors for type 2 diabetes. We can’t wait to help.