(RxWiki News) For patients diagnosed with prediabetes, the message is clear: it's not too late.
People who know they're predisposed to a risky disease like type 2 diabetes are more likely to make lifestyle changes to avoid developing it. At least that’s the logic that some of the biggest players in public health are banking on with a first-of-its-kind campaign for prediabetes awareness.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA), the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have partnered with the Ad Council to launch the first national campaign targeting the 86 million Americans affected by prediabetes.
People with prediabetes have blood sugar levels that are higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes.
According to the CDC, nearly 90 percent of people with prediabetes aren’t aware they have it and don’t know that it can lead to type 2 diabetes, heart attack and stroke. Trends suggest that between 15 and 30 percent of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes in the next five years.
Luckily, prediabetes can often be reversed with weight loss, diet changes and exercise. Research shows that, once diagnosed with prediabetes, people are more likely to make the lifestyle changes necessary to avoid progressing to type 2 diabetes.
"For the 86 million Americans with prediabetes, we need to communicate a sense of urgency — that it’s time to take action," said Ann Albright, PhD, director of the CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation, in a press release. "By participating in a CDC-recognized diabetes prevention program, people with prediabetes can learn practical, real-life changes and cut their risk for developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent."
The campaign has a direct message: No one is excused from prediabetes. PSAs urge people to visit the website DoIHavePrediabetes.org and take a short test to learn about their risk. TV and radio PSAs also allow people to take the test in real time.
The campaign website offers lifestyle tips and links to the CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program, which connects visitors to a archive of CDC-recognized programs across the country. A texting initiative allows people to take the risk assessment via text message and receive lifestyle tips.
"I think the scary thing is that this really touches everyone — 1 in 3 could be your brother or sister, your best friend or partner," said Ad Council President and CEO Lisa Sherman, in a press release. "Our hope is that this online test and other campaign materials make it easy for people to know where they stand, and will motivate them to take steps to reverse their condition."
The ADA, AMA and CDC are also offering resources for health care providers to help with screening, diagnosis and treatment.