Uspm Vice Chairman: Diabetes is a Preventable/treatable Disease

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Diabetes prevention is proven, possible and powerful.

It is important to recognize that the majority of Type 2 diabetes is a preventable as well as treatable illness that can be managed.

Studies show that people at high risk for diabetes can prevent or delay the onset of the disease by losing 5-7% of body weight. For a 200 lb. person, that’s 10-14 pounds.

Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 to 95 percent of all diabetes cases, and it usually develops after the age of 40, which is why it used to be called "adult-onset diabetes." However, type 2 diabetes can develop at any age and, unfortunately, is now being seen more frequently in children.

For some people, type 2 diabetes may be controlled with a program of proper exercise and nutrition. Other people with type 2 require oral medications and/or doses of insulin to control their blood sugar. By following a program closely, it's possible for these people to keep blood sugars close to normal, to feel healthy and energetic, and to prevent or delay the complications associated with diabetes.

Approximately 26 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, and an estimated 79 million people have pre-diabetes (with only about 10% aware of it). This disease has become an epidemic of complex proportions. Lack of awareness of the health risks that lead to development of the condition is a major obstacle to adequate management of diabetes in our society; so is an understanding of the proper screening, diagnosis and treatment.

Ron Loeppke, MD, MPH, FACOEM, Vice Chairman of U.S. Preventive Medicine ( was quoted in a recent American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine ( news release ( stating, “While the number of people with diabetes is on the rise, it is important to recognize that the majority of Type 2 diabetes is a preventable as well as treatable illness that can be managed. Diabetes is one of the most significant conditions affecting employee health and productivity. Through an emphasis on primary, secondary and tertiary prevention interventions, employers can reduce the burden of illness and empower a healthier, more engaged workforce.”

Dr. Loeppke is the president of ACOEM and Chairman of the Diabetes at Work group (, a free online resource specifically designed to address the management of diabetes in the workplace as part of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Diabetes Education Program.

November is National Diabetes Month. Watch for diabetes education provided by the National Diabetes Education Program, the American Diabetes Association, your local health resources and your doctor.

Click the following link for a Diabetes Risk Screening Questionnaire from the American Diabetes Association that will allow assessment of your personal risk for diabetes.

Take steps now to make lifestyle changes that reduce your risk factors and preserve your health for more good years.

For more information on the wellness plan created by U.S. Preventive Medicine, visit

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Annette Petrick
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