More than one-third of Washington adults, about 1.87 million people, have prediabetes, and most of them do not know it. Eleven percent of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within 3 years. Type 2 diabetes is a preventable but serious condition that can lead to a number of health issues, including heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, or loss of toes, feet, or legs.
One in five U.S. health care dollars is now spent treating individuals with a diagnosis of diabetes. In Washington, as of 2012, direct medical expenditures for diabetes were $3.76 billion annually. Costs are expected to increase to $5.39 billion annually in 10 years (2012 dollars). Nationwide implementation of this program could save the U.S. health care system $5.7 billion and prevent about 885,000 future cases of type 2 diabetes.
On a personal level, people with diagnosed diabetes incur about $13,700 in annual medical expenditures on average; $7,900 attributed directly to diabetes.
Research shows that modest behavior changes, such as making better food choices and increasing physical activity, reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58% in people at high risk for developing this disease.
Washington State University Extension collaborated with the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance (DPCA), Washington State Department of Health, and Washington State Health Care Authority to bring the National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) to communities around Washington.
National DPP is based on a research study led by the National Institutes of Health and supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which showed that participants who lost 5% to 7% of their body weight (10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person) by making modest changes, reduced their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58%.
Participants meet as a group with a trained lifestyle coach and learn how to make important changes during 16 weekly classes and 6 monthly follow-up sessions. Trained lifestyle coaches facilitate group discussion and coach participants to make key behavior changes to support weight loss and reduce diabetes risk including: making healthful eating choices, increasing fruit and vegetable intake, and adopting physically active lifestyles.
Since 2013, WSU Extension has received $100,000 in start-up funding and additional dollars to implement the National Diabetes Prevention Program in Washington counties. WSU Extension is one of the largest providers of the DPP in Washington. The Diabetes Prevention Program currently is offered in nine counties across the state.
The CDC Diabetes Prevention Recognition Program assures program integrity by monitoring and evaluating program data. To date, three WSU sites, Clallam/Jefferson, Skagit/Whatcom, and Whitman Counties, have attained full CDC DPRP recognition status by meeting the standards set by the CDC.
Program costs recovered through fees, insurance reimbursement, and scholarship funds from DPCA, the partnering agency, promote a financially sustainable program. From June 2013 to June 2016, $131,284 in income was generated to cover costs of program delivery.
Participants losing 5% or more of their body weight reduce their risk of converting to diagnosed diabetes by 58%. Diabetes prevention through the DPP program translates to a potential cost savings of $7,900 per person annually, or a total of $3.1 million for participants who attained 5% weight loss and are served by the WSU Extension Diabetes Prevention Program.