mcj-2019-11-06-opinion-dr-vernon-rayford

Dr. Vernon Rayford

Prediabetes is the preclinical state preceding Type 2 diabetes. In prediabetes, fasting blood sugars (100-125 mg/dL), hemoglobin A1c values (5.7-6.4) or oral glucose tolerance results (140-199 mg/dL) fall between the normal range and diabetes range.

Over 90 percent of adults with prediabetes are unaware of their elevated blood sugars and increased risk of progressing to Type 2 diabetes. People with prediabetes have a 15-30 percent chance of developing Type 2 diabetes in the next five years.

It is estimated that one-third of American adults have prediabetes with the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes (currently 29 million adults) expected to double without significant prevention efforts. Older adults have a higher prevalence of prediabetes, which is estimated to affect one out of every two adults aged 65 and older.

Fortunately Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed for those adults with lifestyle changes, medicines or both. The Diabetes Prevention Program Trials have shown that lifestyle changes, which include modest weight loss (loss of 5-7 percent body weight) and regular physical activity (at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise per week), can reduce the risk of progressing to Type 2 diabetes by 58 percent in adults. For participants 60 and older, the reduction was 71 percent. Metformin was also shown to reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes progression by 31 percent compared to placebo.

The National Diabetes Prevention program is a behavioral lifestyle change program based on over 25 years of data from the original diabetes prevention trials. The program is designed to be delivered in a group setting by trained lifestyle coaches using a CDC approved curriculum.

Since June of this year, the Advance Practice Clinician fellowship at North Mississippi Medical Center and I have been delivering the program to the public for free at the NMMC Gilmore-Amory hospital. The sessions occur on two Thursdays a month and last from 6 to 7 p.m.

Please contact us at diabetesprevention@nmhs.net or 377-5787 for questions or to request the schedule. We would love to see you.

Vernon Rayford, MD, PharmD, specializes in internal medicine and pediatrics at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo.

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