diabetes workplace wellness

Call to Action: ‘Continued Urgency to Decrease the Burden of Diabetes’

Following the recent National Diabetes Statistics Report from the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention that “more than 100 million U.S. adults are now living with diabetes or prediabetes,” the American Diabetes Association is “urging renewed attention to and investment in stemming the diabetes epidemic.”

Said the Association’s Chief Scientific, Medical & Mission Officer William T. Cefalu, MD: “Diabetes and prediabetes remain serious threats for more than one-third of Americans―the statistics are staggering. We must continue to innovate in scientific research and to translate findings to the clinical level to decrease the prevalence of diabetes. This data clearly confirms it is critical for us to continue to provide the education and support needed to improve health outcomes and decrease the daily burden of diabetes. We must reduce the incidence of diabetes and its enormous costs, including both the financial costs and the human toll  of lost quality of life and lives, to our communities across the country.”

Indeed, the CDC reports that “as of 2015, 30.3 million Americans – 9.4 percent of the U.S. population – have diabetes. Another 84.1 million have prediabetes, a condition that if not treated often leads to type 2 diabetes within five years.”

The American Pharmacists Association highlights another potential complication — one where a well-run workplace wellness program, which can include various biometric screenings and other follow-up actions, can help.

The APA reports that “according to Jennifer Trujillo, PharmD, BCPS, one of findings that stood out to her in this year’s report was not only the high number of individuals with prediabetes, but the small percentage of prediabetes patients who know they have the condition.”

Said Trujillo, an associate professor at the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences: “We still have a lot of work to do in terms of screening for and preventing diabetes.”

The American Diabetes Association adds that “People with diabetes are at significant risk for serious complications, especially kidney failure, heart disease, stroke, blindness and lower-limb amputations. Lifestyle changes, including healthy food choices, weight loss and exercise along with medication, can often reduce the risk for and delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. Later onset of diabetes reduces the risk of complications, thus decreasing the lifelong impact.”