Chaffee County Public Health will offer free Diabetes Prevention Program classes on Tuesdays starting Jan. 28 in Salida and on Thursdays starting Jan. 30 in Buena Vista.

The Diabetes Prevention Program was developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and has been shown to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes in people with prediabetes, according to a press release.

People with prediabetes have higher than normal blood glucose levels, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and are at increased risk for serious health problems such as stroke and heart disease. Progression from prediabetes to diabetes can take as little as five years, the CDC reports.

The 2017 National Diabetes Statistics Report states that 1 in 3 Americans are prediabetic. Nearly 90 percent of people with prediabetes don’t know they have it. Several risk factors increase a person’s risk of prediabetes, including:

  • Being overweight.
  • Being physically active less than three times per week.
  • Having a parent, brother or sister with type 2 diabetes.
  • Being older than age 40.
  • Being a man.
  • If a woman, having a history of gestational diabetes.

People can find out if they are at risk for prediabetes by taking the online risk test at DoIHavePrediabetes.org, and a blood test can tell for sure.

Public Health officials said the good news is that prediabetes can be reversed. The sooner a person is diagnosed and takes action, the more likely they’ll be able to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.

The Diabetes Prevention Program is a scientifically proven lifestyle change program based on research with prediabetics that showed a 58 percent reduction in the number of new cases of diabetes overall and a 71 percent reduction in new cases for those over age 60.

Through healthier eating, increased physical activity and 2.2 pounds of weight loss, the diabetes risk can be reduced by 13 percent.

The eligibility criteria for participation in the Diabetes Prevention Program include:

  • Age 18 or older.
  • Body mass index of more than 25.
  • Diagnosis of prediabetes based on:
    Fasting blood glucose (range 100-125 mg/dl), or
  • 2-hour glucose (range 140-199 mg/dl), or
    HbA1c (range 5.7-6.4), or
    Previous gestational diabetes

For more information and to sign up for the free classes, call Public Health at 719-539-4510.

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