Which do you think can do a better job preventing diabetes: lifestyle intervention, or medication? The National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) is a study on this question with more than 3,200 participants. Some subjects engaged in intensive one-on-one counseling and lifestyle intervention, including better diet and exercise, and others took the anti-diabetic drug metformin. The results were startling: this intervention group cut their risk of developing diabetes by more than one half, while the drug takers reduced their risk by one third.

Every one in three persons in the United States today, a total of around 90 million people, is pre-diabetic. Being pre-diabetic means to be at risk of becoming diabetic in the next four to six years. Given the high cost of treating diabetes, insurance companies and self-insured entities have an urgent incentive to prevent Type 2 diabetes in as many people as possible. The US Preventive Services Task Force issued a recommendation in 2015 to screen all overweight individuals for abnormal blood glucose levels and refer them to intensive behavior training sessions. 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have decided to take a bold step in committing to diabetes prevention by declaring that the CDC’s recognized national diabetes prevention program (“DPP”) will be eligible for reimbursement. But what can be done for patients who don’t live near a DPP session? What will providers do if they can only accommodate only 15 people in one year-long session? 

In collaboration with the American Diabetes Association and South Asian Cardiovascular Center at Advocate Heart Institute, Prana Diabetes is initiating a national diabetes prevention program in the city of Chicago, a population of 2.7 million. HabitNu is a virtual diabetes prevention program developed by Prana Diabetes and strongly aligned with CDC’s diabetes prevention program. The HabitNu program starts on October 11, 2016 at MATTER, Chicago’s healthcare incubation hub. The program includes group sessions monthly, along with continuous virtual life style intervention support every day for a whole year

These leading organizations have made a strong commitment to diabetes prevention by supporting our initiative. Support us by pledging your commitment too. Please forward this link to any one you think might qualify. You can join DPP at dppchicago.com.

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