Diabetes Lifestyle Intervention Program Could Save Billions

Second study indicates benefit of risk-assessment and encouragement of lifestyle change

TUESDAY, Jan. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Modeling suggests that a lifestyle intervention program could prevent thousands of cases of diabetes and save billions of dollars; and wide-scale implementation of evidence-based interventions may be able to curb diabetes and its complications, according to two studies published in the January issue of Health Affairs.

Xiaohui Zhuo, Ph.D., from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues projected the costs and benefits of a nationwide community-based lifestyle intervention program for the prevention of type 2 diabetes. The results indicated that the program would break even in 14 years, after accounting for all costs to the U.S. health care system. The program was projected to prevent or delay 885,000 cases of type 2 diabetes and produce nationwide savings of $5.7 billion within 25 years.

Deneen Vojta, M.D., from UnitedHealth Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance in Minnetonka, Minn., and colleagues estimated that over the next decade approximately 40 million adults could have diabetes and 100 million could be diagnosed with prediabetes. They further noted that, in 2021, related health care spending could reach $512 billion per year. Suggested measures to implement evidence-based interventions that could curb diabetes and its complications included: new risk-assessment methods; enrollment in new care models to support lifestyle change; and novel programs encouraging lifestyle change through Medicare and Medicaid.

"Those working in health care also need concerted, broad-based national action to increase screening and diagnosis, improve the uptake of appropriate care, and design effective and evidence-based incentives to stimulate healthy behavior among at-risk populations," Vojta and colleagues conclude.

Abstract - Zhuo
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Abstract - Vojta
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