In the second of the Comagine Health series spotlighting the National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) in observance of National Diabetes Month, we'll talk about what health care teams can do to prevent type 2 diabetes.
Referring patients to a CDC-recognized lifestyle change program helps reinforce the advice you already provide on the importance of health eating and exercise. Because CDC-recognized lifestyle change programs use a research-based curriculum and trained coaches, you can trust that your patients are receiving evidence-based information about weight loss, healthy eating, exercise and other important lifestyle changes. Once they’ve enrolled in the program, you may even find that your patients' increased knowledge saves you time during office visits.
The CDC supports the National DPP lifestyle change program because research shows it works. A randomized, controlled clinical trial showed that completing this program reduced program participants’ chances of developing type 2 diabetes by 58% compared to placebo (71% for individuals aged 60 and older), nearly twice as much as the reduction among the group taking metformin (31%).
The program focuses on lifelong changes to certain habits and behaviors, which helps participants maintain healthy improvements over time. A 10-year follow-up study showed that participants were still one-third less likely to develop type 2 diabetes a decade later than individuals who took a placebo. Those who did develop type 2 diabetes delayed the onset by about four years.
So what can health care teams do to promote this program?
- Screen -> Test -> Refer
- SCREEN patients for prediabetes using the CDC and American Diabetes Association Risk Test
- TEST patients for prediabetes using one of three blood tests
- REFER patients with prediabetes to a diabetes prevention program
- Discuss diabetes prevention with patients. You can use this Diabetes Prevention Lifestyle Change Program Booklet and accompanying Reference Card as a teaching tool to educate patients during office visits. The booklet includes information on prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, risk factors for type 2 diabetes and details about the lifestyle change program. It also allows you to focus on the topic that is most relevant to your patients.
- Find additional resources developed by the American Medical Association in their Diabetes Prevention Toolkit.
If you have questions or would like assistance supporting your patients to prevent type 2 diabetes, please contact us at DPPHelpDesk@comagine.org.