Diabetes-prevention program helps addition of years to common lifespan


There is a lot you can do in four years: go from white to black belt in taekwondo, plant a dwarf apple tree and pick its fruit, see your grandchild in college and graduate or graduate from your own. The most serious complications of diabetes – from stroke to neuropathy to amputation – can make such activities difficult or impossible for some people.

In a new study, researchers from the West Virginia University School of Public Health found that participating in a year-long diabetes prevention program helped extend the average lifespan of participants by 4.4 quality-adjusted life years.

“Fatalism can play an important role in public health – like, ‘Oh yes, my family has diabetes. I’ll get it at some point, ”said Adam Baus, research associate at the Institute for Social and Behavioral Sciences, who led the study. “That does not have to be that way. Not at all.”

The results are displayed under Perspectives in Health Information Management.

Quality-adjusted life years – or QALYS – do not only take into account the life span. They also take into account physical, mental, social and functional health. QALYS help measure the burden of disease and show how participation in interventions affects the quality and quantity of life.

Baus and colleagues analyzed data from West Virginia Health Connection, a new online network of clinical and community-based partners working together to prevent and control chronic diseases such as diabetes in the state.

West Virginia Health Connection is a collaboration between the Department of Health Promotion and Chronic Diseases of the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health and the Office of Health Services Research of the WVU School of Public Health.

The data included 320 people who had completed the National Diabetes Prevention Program.

Using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Diabetes Impact Tool, the researchers analyzed the data for demographic information. Weight, height and BMI; and return on investment indicators, including diabetes incidence, medical costs, and QALYS.

They found that participation in the program resulted in an increase of 0.2 QALYS after one year, with an increase of 1.1 QALYS after three years and an increase of 4.4 QALYS after 10 years.

At the start of programming, 80.3% of participants were obese, 19.4% were overweight, and only 0.3% were of normal weight. By the end of programming, participants had lost an average of 13.6 pounds, or 6.3% of their total body weight. After three years, this corresponds to a 32.4 percent reduction in the overall risk of developing diabetes.

“It’s really important for our community partners to have a good, reliable analytics system that they can use to document the programming they provide and demonstrate the effectiveness of their program,” said Baus, who directs the WVU Health Research Bureau . “This is a challenge for many people in the community who may not be used to tracking data. You need a good, secure method and backbone support so that you can analyze your data and show the effects of your program. It is really important to the longevity of your program. “

Baus and colleagues found that the program saw a $ 120 decrease in annual medical costs per participant. After three years of participation, the annual savings are $ 341 per person. After 10 years? $ 989.

By the third year, the net cost of running the program drops to $ 50 per person. With a 10 year forecast, the programming will generate enough healthcare savings to more than offset the cost of running the program itself.

“Providers who know their patients could get extra support through prevention programs like this have historically been frustrated, but they don’t have a simple mechanism to make referrals, know that patients are taking classes, and know how outcomes are going to progress of the times, ”said Baus.

West Virginia Health Connection is addressing this need by bringing together essentially all of the state’s diabetes prevention programs under one roof, and connecting physicians and primary care specialists with community health leaders to provide these necessary programs.

“It is a secure registry where health information can be collected and analyzed so clinicians can document the care they are providing and receive reports on that data,” said Baus. “It is really important for our community partners to have a good, reliable system of analysis that they can use to document the programs they provide and demonstrate the effectiveness of their efforts.”

And it’s especially important in West Virginia, which has the second highest adult diabetes rate in the country at 15%. As of 2018, an additional 11% of adults were diagnosed as pre-diabetic, and even more go undetected.

“Our state has a significant public health burden from prediabetes and diabetes, but we also have amazing, dedicated partners working to reverse that trend,” said Baus. “Together we can do it.”

/ Public release. This material is from the original organization and may be of a temporal nature and may be edited for clarity, style and length. Full view here.