The American Medical Association is teaming up with the YMCA in a new pilot program to help prevent type 2 diabetes.
In several locations throughout the country, doctors are screening patients for prediabetes and referring them over to YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program. Four cities are currently participating in the program: Indianapolis, Indiana, Minneapolis/St.Paul, Minnesota, Venice, Florida and Wilmington, Delaware. A fifth U.S. site will be announced soon.
This program is modeled after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Diabetes Prevention Program, which provides education on healthy eating and lifestyle changes for at-risk patients. Participants attend 16 weeks of initial training, and then meet up monthly for one year to check overall progress.
Early intervention programs have proven to be very successful in preventing the disease. According to research from the National Institutes of Health, new cases of type 2 diabetes have been reduced by 58 percent. Statistics are even more encouraging for people over 60, with a 71 percent reduction in new cases. Type 2 diabetes is a huge factor among increased healthcare expenditures, so pre-screening and prevention help control costs, as well as the disease.
Luckily, anyone with prediabetes can participate in the YMCA program without a physician’s referral. However, the AMA hopes that their involvement will raise awareness and increase the number of people who can benefit from such programs.