HARTFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Aetna (NYSE: AET) received an award from America’s Health Insurance Plans, under funding provided through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to offer a type 2 diabetes prevention program to Aetna beneficiaries in Texas. This 2012 Prevention and Public Health Fund cooperative agreement is part of a national effort to reduce the number of new cases of type 2 diabetes through the National Diabetes Prevention Program. The CDC awarded $6.7 million to six organizations to bring the National Diabetes Prevention Program to their communities.
Classes offered through the National Diabetes Prevention Program help participants learn how to make healthy lifestyle changes that can reduce the chance of developing type 2 diabetes by nearly 60 percent. Those changes include losing a moderate amount of weight and increasing physical activity.
“With the number of Americans with diabetes expected to increase in the future, addressing the prevention of diabetes is critical,” said Wayne Rawlins, MD, MBA, and National Medical Director at Aetna. “This is also a significant issue for minorities in the United States because first, minorities have a higher prevalence of diabetes. Secondly, the minority population will become the majority population over the next several decades. We welcome the opportunity to work with CDC to bring the National Diabetes Prevention Program to communities in Texas. We look forward to helping our members make long-term, healthy changes that protect their overall health and well-being.”
The CDC estimates 79 million people have pre-diabetes, a condition of elevated blood sugar that often leads to type 2 diabetes within a few years. With this funding, Aetna will be able to expand the program to more communities across the United States. The funds will also be used to:
- Recruit and train lifestyle coaches and leaders.
- Help build alliances with external organizations to provide financial support for program classes as a covered health benefit for employees.
- Establish compensation arrangements that reward successful programs.
- Help organizations follow CDC research-based standards for lifestyle change programs.
- Help ensure program participants have the best resources they need to make healthy lifestyle changes.
The CDC leads the National Diabetes Prevention Program, which offers communities an evidence-based lifestyle change program to prevent type 2 diabetes. The program is geared to those at high risk of type 2 diabetes. People have a higher chance of developing type 2 diabetes if they:
- Are overweight.
- Are 45 years or older.
- Have a family history of the disease.
- Get little to no physical activity.
- Have had gestational diabetes.
- Belong to certain racial/ethnic groups, including African Americans, Hispanic/Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders.
The National Diabetes Prevention Program is based on a research study led by the National Institutes of Health and supported by CDC. Results show that people with pre-diabetes could reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes by making modest lifestyle changes. Those changes include choosing healthier foods and increasing physical activity. The CDC estimates that national implementation of the prevention program could save $5.7 billion in health care costs and prevent 885,000 cases of type-2 diabetes in the next 25 years.
For more information about the National Diabetes Prevention Program, visit www.cdc.gov/diabetes/prevention.
Aetna is one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 36.7 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities, Medicaid health care management services and health information technology services. Our customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, health care providers, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, see www.aetna.com.
Samantha Coppola, 860-273-8864