diabetes lifestyle interventions workplace wellness

Need Exists for Workplace Wellness Programs to Focus on Diabetes Lifestyle Interventions

Focusing on many of the factors that can help manage diabetes — including diet, exercise, and more — remains a key component of a well-run workplace wellness program.

Indeed, 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.”

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.”

As if to emphasize how much work individuals and workplace wellness programs still have to do, MedPage Today reports that “fewer than half of U.S. adults with type 2 diabetes (T2D) are meeting recommended guidelines for preventing cardiovascular disease (CVD).”

The post is based on a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology titled “Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in Diabetes Mellitus.”

The authors write: “Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D) is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD), the most common cause of death in T2D. Yet, <50% of U.S. adults with T2D meet recommended guidelines for CVD prevention. The burden of T2D is increasing: by 2050, approximately 1 in 3 U.S. individuals may have T2D, and patients with T2D will comprise an increasingly large proportion of the CVD population.”

In the study, “the authors summarize evidence and guidelines for lifestyle (exercise, nutrition, and weight management) and CVD risk factor (blood pressure, cholesterol and blood lipids, glycemic control, and the use of aspirin) management for the prevention of CVD among patients with T2D.”

Their conclusion is important when considering workplace wellness program design as well as individual actions: “The authors believe appropriate lifestyle and CVD risk factor management has the potential to significantly reduce the burden of CVD among patients with T2D.”