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U.S. Diabetes Prevention Program Might Avert 885,000 Cases
Date:1/12/2012

hief clinical officer for the UnitedHealth Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance, reviewed different strategies that may help stem the rising tide of type 2 diabetes. These ideas include encouraging lifestyle changes, developing partnerships with pharmacists, nurses and health coaches, and implementing new programs for Medicare and Medicaid to help patients make lifestyle changes.

"This is a problem the whole world is facing. It's the concept of changing the paradigm and shifting the focus from treatment to prevention," said Dr. Joel Zonszein, director of the clinical diabetes center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.

"Prevention is cheaper and investments in health do save in the long term. But, who's going to sponsor it?" he asked.

Zonszein said it's also critically important that any diabetes program and education be tailored to the specific population. That means what works in a wealthy suburban setting probably won't be helpful in a poorer inner-city area and vice versa. "Diet and exercise programs have to be individually tailored," he said.

More information

See if you're at risk for type 2 diabetes by visiting the American Diabetes Association.

SOURCES: Xiaohui Zhuo, Ph.D., health economist, division of diabetes translation, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta; Joel Zonszein, M.D., director, clinical diabetes center, Montefiore Medical Center, New York City; January 2012, Health Affairs


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