The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) awarded UnitedHealth Group’s Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance (DPCA) a grant to expand the reach of the DPCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program.
The DPCA is a community-based initiative aimed at tackling the epidemic of type 2 diabetes and prediabetes. The DPCA will expand the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program in Colorado, Tennessee and Washington.
The National Diabetes Prevention Program is an innovative lifestyle coaching program. It is conducted in a group setting through community organizations that helps people with prediabetes and who are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes make healthy lifestyle changes and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by nearly 60 percent. These changes include healthy eating, increased physical activity and other lifestyle choices. The program is modeled after the Diabetes Prevention Program, a research study led by the National Institutes of Health and supported by the CDC.
The DPCA currently offers the National Diabetes Prevention Program through local YMCAs and community health centers in 73 markets in 31 states.
The grant is being awarded through the 2012 Prevention and Public Health Fund cooperative agreement, which is part of a national effort to reduce chronic disease including the number of new cases of type 2 diabetes. CDC awarded $6.7 million to six organizations, including the DPCA, to expand the reach of the National Diabetes Prevention Program.
“Diabetes is taking a devastating toll on the health and financial resources of our country,” said Deneen Vojta, M.D., senior vice president of UnitedHealth Group and chief clinical officer of the DPCA. “The CDC’s grant enables us to help more people prevent type 2 diabetes and its deadly complications and empower them to take control of their health.”
There are nearly 26 million American adults with diabetes – 90 percent or more of them with the often preventable form, type 2 diabetes. Another 79 million Americans – more than a third of the adult population – have prediabetes, a condition of elevated blood sugar that often leads to type 2 diabetes within a few years.
It is expected that diabetes will cost the country about $226 billion this year, accounting for an estimated 10 percent of total health care spending, and will grow to $512 billion annually by 2021.
If current trends continue, more than half of all Americans will have diabetes or prediabetes by 2020, according to an analysis from the UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform & Modernization.
CDC funds will be used to:
The National Diabetes Prevention Program is based on research led by the National Institutes of Health and supported by CDC, which showed that people with prediabetes could reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by making modest lifestyle changes that resulted in a 5- to 7-percent weight loss (about 10-14 pounds for a 200-pound person). Those changes included choosing healthier foods and increasing physical activity to at least 150 minutes a week.
The DPCA was launched in April 2010 through a partnership with UnitedHealth Group, the YMCA and retail pharmacies. The two core programs, Diabetes Prevention Program and the Diabetes Control Program, are available at no out-of-pocket cost to participants enrolled in employer-provided health insurance plans in select markets through UnitedHealthcare and Medica. The Alliance is expanding with new partners and entering new markets every year.
About UnitedHealth Group
UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) is a diversified health and well-being company dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making health care work better. With headquarters in Minnetonka, Minn., UnitedHealth Group offers a broad spectrum of products and services through two distinct platforms: UnitedHealthcare, which provides health care coverage and benefits services; and Optum, which provides information and technology-enabled health services. Through its businesses, UnitedHealth Group serves more than 75 million people worldwide. For more information visit UnitedHealth Group at www.unitedhealthgroup.com.