diabetes workplace wellness

Guidance on Diabetes, Hypertension Provided by American Diabetes Association

Diabetes prevention and management clearly remain a key focus of any well-run workplace wellness program. So does the prevention and management of hypertension.

We recently reported that 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.”

Further, a study recently published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and titled “Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in Diabetes Mellitus” noted that “fewer than half of U.S. adults with type 2 diabetes (T2D) are meeting recommended guidelines for preventing cardiovascular disease (CVD)” according to MedPage Today.

Now American Diabetes Association released updated guidelines for patients with both diabetes and hypertension. The Association last published a Position Statement on this topic in 2003.

Why does this matter? In “Diabetes and Hypertension: A Position Statement by the American Diabetes Association,” the Association writes: “Hypertension is common among patients with diabetes, with the prevalence depending on type and duration of diabetes, age, sex, race/ethnicity, BMI, history of glycemic control, and the presence of kidney disease, among other factors. Furthermore, hypertension is a strong risk factor for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), heart failure, and microvascular complications.” And ASCVD is “the leading cause of morbidity and mortality for individuals with diabetes and is the largest contributor to the direct and indirect costs of diabetes.”

Further, the benefits of focusing simultaneously on hypertension and diabetes appear evident: “Numerous studies have shown that antihypertensive therapy reduces ASCVD events, heart failure, and microvascular complications in people with diabetes. Large benefits are seen when multiple risk factors are addressed simultaneously. There is evidence that ASCVD morbidity and mortality have decreased for people with diabetes since 1990 likely due in large part to improvements in blood pressure control.”

Not only does the Position Statement provide specific recommendations around various health levels, it also provides recommendations around the types of actions that a well-run workplace wellness program can help instill, including lifestyle management, physical activity, weight loss, and more.

As the ADA concludes: “Hypertension is a strong, modifiable risk factor for the macrovascular and microvascular complications of diabetes. Robust literature demonstrates the clinical efficacy of lowering blood pressure, with cardiovascular and microvascular benefits demonstrated for multiple classes of antihypertensive medications. Strong evidence from clinical trials and meta-analyses supports targeting blood pressure reduction to at least <140/90 mmHg in most adults with diabetes.”