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NEW YORK, NY – One in three adults with diabetes could have kidney disease. To further educate the public on preventing and managing complications related to diabetes and kidney disease, as well as advise New Yorkers on ways to advocate for themselves and their loved ones, EmblemHealth, one of the nation’s largest nonprofit health insurers, partnered with healthcare stakeholders on March 28 for an informational webinar titled Diabetes and Kidney Disease: How to Manage, Cope, and Advocate for Yourself.
New York City Council Member Lynn Schulman, Chair of the Committee on Health, and New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan were joined by clinical experts from primary and specialty care practice AdvantageCare Physicians (ACPNY). ACPNY Chair of Endocrinology and Nutrition Dr. Yevgeniya Dynkevich, ACPNY Registered Dietician-Nutritionist Kristin Cardillo, and National Kidney Foundation Director of Community Impact and Health Partnerships Monique Hardin-Cordero served as panelists. They shared a clinical overview of common diabetes and kidney disease symptoms, risk factors, and treatment options, as well as coping strategies, ways to support loved ones, and the importance of maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle.
According to NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene findings in 2021, 12% of adult New Yorkers have been told they have diabetes, an increase of over 50% in just the last eight years—with disproportionately higher percentage rates of diabetes found among Black and Latino populations. Diabetes continues to be the leading cause of a variety of health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease.
“Diabetes is a top risk factor for kidney disease. Preventing chronic kidney disease and kidney failure start with ongoing conversations on managing current chronic conditions,” said Beth Leonard, EmblemHealth Chief Corporate Affairs Officer. “EmblemHealth is proud to join our City’s government officials, legislators, and communities in our collective efforts to help New Yorkers lead healthier lives.”
Ways to help prevent diabetes complications include:
- Managing glucose by testing your sugar regularly, maintaining glucose in target range of 70-180, reaching an A1C goal of under 7%, and taking glucose-lowering medications as prescribed by your provider
- Blood pressure and lipid management (goal blood pressure under 120/80 and LDL cholesterol goal under 70)
- Limit your salt/sodium intake
- Determine lifestyle modifications you should make with your care team
- Work with your provider to see if taking medications to prevent heart and kidney disease, such as ACE inhibitors/or ARB and SGLT2 inhibitors, is a fit for you
Lifestyle modifications to help reduce the risk of complications from diabetes:
- Adopt a ‘Mediterranean diet’ by focusing on fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, eating more plant-based proteins, increasing fiber intake from food, and decreasing animal protein intake
- Check out labels the next time you go grocery shopping. Choose brands that have at least three grams of dietary fiber per serving
- Exercise about 30 minutes to one hour each day. Walking is an immediate and effective way to lower blood sugar
- If sitting for long periods of time, try to stand every 30 minutes
- Modify daily stress levels
- Improve sleep habits
“There is no denying the growing prevalence of diabetes and kidney disease in our City, especially among our Black, Latino, Asian, and low-income communities that may lack access to critical information on management and support,” said Lynn Schulman, New York City Council Member (District 29: Rego Park, Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, Richmond Hill). “As we aim to eliminate health disparities, spreading awareness through discussions with healthcare professionals and advocates on these issues is imperative. My office is proud to once again partner with EmblemHealth and AdvantageCare Physicians to empower New Yorkers to make healthier decisions.”
“As we celebrate Kidney Awareness this month, we are extremely proud to be a part of this collaborative effort. Only through developing effective strategies can we advance chronic kidney disease (CKD) awareness and reduce health disparities in treating CKD especially, among African-Americans, Latinos, Asians, and low-income communities,” said Saskia Thomson, Executive Director of the National Kidney Foundation serving Greater New York and Connecticut. “We want to thank EmblemHealth and AdvantageCare Physicians, and NYC Council Member Lynn Schulman for this opportunity to share information and resources to help delay the progression of or prevent the occurrence of CKD.”
The March 28 session is the third in a series of public health education webinars EmblemHealth has held. Last year the nonprofit health insurer held an MPV (also known as Mpox) Town Hall and Diabetes Prevention Webinar.
Watch EmblemHealth’s Diabetes and Kidney Disease Webinar below.