NEW YORK CITY (October 10, 2012) — EmblemHealth is partnering with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) to offer an effective program to prevent type 2 diabetes in New York City. The 2012 Prevention and Public Health Fund cooperative agreement is part of a national effort to reduce the number of new cases of type 2 diabetes through the National Diabetes Prevention Program. The CDC awarded $6.7 million to six organizations to bring the program to people with prediabetes in their communities.
The program enables EmblemHealth to offer National Diabetes Prevention Program classes to residents in Harlem and Cambria Heights, Queens, neighborhoods where EmblemHealth is expanding its presence and that have some of the nation's highest rates of diabetes. Participants with prediabetes will learn how to make healthy lifestyle changes to reduce their chances of developing type 2 diabetes by nearly 60 percent. These changes include choosing healthier foods, losing weight, increasing physical activity and learning strategies for maintaining these changes.
"We are very pleased to be part of this important initiative to prevent type 2 diabetes," says Eliza Ng, MD, Senior Medical Director of EmblemHealth. Harlem and Cambria Heights were selected, Dr. Ng explained, because of their demographics — both communities have large African American and Hispanic populations, who are disproportionately at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
"People with diabetes are also at risk for hypertension, stroke and heart disease, and have more physician visits, longer and more frequent hospital stays, and higher use of prescription drugs. We believe this program will help people with prediabetes in these communities make lasting changes that will protect their health," she added.
The CDC estimates 79 million Americans — 35 percent of US adults aged 20 and older — have pre-diabetes, a condition of elevated blood sugar that often leads to type 2 diabetes within a few years. People with pre-diabetes have a higher risk for heart disease and stroke.
CDC leads the National Diabetes Prevention Program, which offers communities an evidence-based lifestyle change program to prevent type 2 diabetes. The program is designed for those at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. People have a higher chance of developing type 2 diabetes if they are overweight, age 45 years or older, have a family history of the disease, get little physical activity, developed gestational diabetes while pregnant, or are members of certain racial/ethnic groups, including African Americans, Hispanic/Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders.
The program is based on a research study led by the National Institutes of Health and supported by CDC, which showed that people with prediabetes could reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes by making modest lifestyle changes that resulted in a 5 to 7 percent weight loss (about 10-14 pounds for a 200-pound person). Those changes included choosing healthier foods and increasing physical activity to at least 150 minutes a week. CDC estimates that national implementation of the prevention program could save $5.7 billion in health care costs and prevent 885,000 cases of type 2 diabetes in the next 25 years.
For more information about the National Diabetes Prevention Program, visit www.cdc.gov/diabetes/prevention.
EmblemHealth, Inc., through its companies Group Health Incorporated (GHI) and HIP Health Plan of New York (HIP), provides quality health care coverage and administrative services to approximately 2.8 million people. Groups and individuals can choose from a variety of PPO, EPO and HMO plans, as well as coverage for prescription drugs and dental and vision care. EmblemHealth offers a choice of networks, including quality doctors and other health care professionals throughout the region, leading acute care hospitals across the tristate area, and physicians and hospitals across all 50 states.