Maine CDC Press Release

June 11, 2015

Maine CDC Targets Diabetes Prevention

15 Sites Statewide Offer Nationally Recognized Program for Pre-Diabetes

AUGUSTA - The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S. CDC) estimates that one of every three adults has higher than normal blood sugar, known as prediabetes. Yet less than seven percent of Maine adults have ever been told they have this condition. Often there are no symptoms of prediabetes, but if blood sugar continues to rise the complications from diabetes can be severe.

Maine currently has 16 sites across the state that are delivering the National Diabetes Prevention Program, a year-long lifestyle change program to help decrease participants' risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. A Lifestyle Coach works with small groups of participants to support positive lifestyle change, like increased physical activity and proper nutrition. Launched in 2012 by the U.S. CDC, data shows that those who complete the program reduce the likelihood of developing Type 2 diabetes by 58 percent. Many experience weight loss as well as a drop in blood pressure.

Last year, more than 800 Mainers completed the program. Stephens Memorial Hospital Registered Nurse Doreen Adams coordinates the program at the Norway facility.

"When I see past participants around town they often tell us they are still using techniques learned in class," Adams said. "Type 2 diabetes can be a preventable disease. Reinforcing the small changes in eating habits, exercise, managing stress, staying motivated and solving problems that can get in the way of these changes is what we do best."

At Pen Bay Hospital, Marcy Kyle said that program participants have succeeded at establishing a new way of life that includes a strong support system.

"It's like the patients are our family," she said "Within four weeks, the participants meet each other. They may only connect at the meeting, but over time they realize they've accomplished something. They’re exercising, keeping food records and within a few months, it's like they're a family. They get worried when someone doesn’t come to a class, or they want to send a card to someone when they're sick. It's different from anything I've ever experienced before."

ReThinkDiabetes.org - http://rethinkdiabetes.org is an interactive website that allows people to take a short quiz to assess their prediabetes risk, qualify for a class and search for a class located near you. If you know you have prediabetes or think you might be at risk, talk to your doctor about being referred to the program near you.

More information is also available at http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/prevention