Today is World Diabetes Day, celebrated annually on November 14. World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes.

The theme of World Diabetes Day this year is ‘Eyes on diabetes’, with the following key messages:

  • Screening for type 2 diabetes is important to modify its course and reduce the risk of complications.
  • Screening for diabetes complications is an essential part of managing all types of diabetes.

The prevention and early detection of diabetes is one of the core offerings of the Vitality program, which offers screening for diabetes on an annual basis. Members who are deemed to be at high risk of diabetes from their initial blood glucose levels are advised to follow up with their doctor for confirmation and treatment if necessary.

Large scale studies have shown that early detection of pre-diabetes with appropriate lifestyle changes can prevent subsequent progression to diabetes. Furthermore, lifestyle interventions are more successful in preventing diabetes than pharmacological treatment, and the effects are still seen after 10 years.

Vitality data confirm the positive impact of lifestyle interventions in its members on the risk of diabetes. In those with high levels of engagement, 4% of males and 3% of females are at high risk of diabetes, compared with 7% of males and 5% of females who are less engaged. The risk of diabetes also increases with age. In Vitality members who are highly engaged, 2% of under 50-year-olds are at high risk compared with 6% aged 50 or over. This age related increase is greatly diminished in Vitality members who remain highly engaged over a period of several years.

Vitality’s key messages on World Diabetes Day 2016 are that:

  1. Diabetes can be avoided through adoption of a healthy lifestyle.
  2. Healthy lifestyles are more effective than medication in preventing diabetes in those at high risk.
  3. Screening for diabetes to identify those at high risk is vitally important to modify its course.

What actions are you taking on World Diabetes Day 2016 to promote a healthy lifestyle? Tweet @VitalityUSA to share with us!

Source: International Diabetes Federation

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