Health Dept. Updates Guide to Local Diabetes Education Programs

27 Self-Management Education Programs Available to Area Residents

To mark Diabetes Alert Day sponsored by the American Diabetes Association next Tuesday, March 27, the Allegheny County Health Department is issuing an updated version of  its “Guide to Local Diabetes Education Programs.”  

The guide identifies 27 sites that offer Diabetes Self-Management Education Programs, which are covered by Medicare and many other health insurance plans.  The booklet is available online at the World Wide Web Icon Health Department's website or by calling 412-247-7816.

Such programs have been demonstrated to make major improvements in the lives of people living with diabetes and help prevent long-term complications.  The programs boost positive attitudes and give people with diabetes the tools needed to successfully manage their disease between doctor visits.

Diabetes is a serious disease affecting nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States.  About a quarter of those – roughly 7 million – do not even know they have the disease.  An additional 79 million have pre-diabetes, which puts them at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Recent estimates project that as many as one in three adults will have the disease by 2050.

Among the primary risk factors for type 2 diabetes are being overweight, sedentary, over the age of 45 and having a family history of diabetes.  In addition, African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

Studies have shown type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by losing 7% of body weight (15 pounds, if you weigh 200) through healthy eating and regular physical activity (30 minutes a day, five days a week). 

Knowing the risk factors can help in taking the necessary steps to help prevent onset of type 2 diabetes, so the Health Department joins with the American Diabetes Association in urging County residents to take the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if they are at risk for developing the disease.  The test is available in English and Spanish at World Wide Web Icon Stop Diabetes or by calling 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383).

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