New hotline for help preventing diabetes

Minneapolis helps people find programs to reduce their risk of diabetes by 50 percent

People at risk for Type 2 diabetes can call a new hotline to find out if they’re at risk for getting diabetes and to find a prevention class in their language and in their area. Diabetes Prevention Program classes start this fall in English, Spanish, Somali, Hmong and Oromo, with another round of classes starting in the winter. The classes are also available online in English. Anyone can call 1-888-643-2584 to get a quick screening over the phone and help registering for a class. The Diabetes Prevention Connection provides a one-stop source of reliable and up-to-date information on online and in-person classes.

The Minnesota Department of Health estimates that one out of three Minnesotans have prediabetes, but most of them don’t know it. People with prediabetes have a blood sugar level higher than normal but not high enough to be considered diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can lead to stroke, heart disease, blindness, amputations and other serious conditions.

Small changes can make a big difference. People with prediabetes who lose 5 to 7 percent of their body weight (around 15 pounds for a 200-pound person) through healthy eating and more activity can cut their chances of developing Type 2 diabetes in half.

Under the guidance of a trained coach over 16 weeks, participants learn healthy eating, physical activity, managing stress, staying motivated and solving problems that can get in the way of making healthy changes.

Classes are available at clinics, churches, YMCAs and other organizations in the city. The Minneapolis Health Department also offers an online version of the class. The online option offers flexibility while maintaining essential parts of the program such as a live coach and support from other participants.

Who should call?

All adults who are overweight or obese and have one or more of these risk factors for diabetes are at a higher risk of prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes:

·         45 or older.

·         A family background that is African-American, American Indian, Asian-American, Latino or Pacific Islander.

·         A birth parent, brother or sister with diabetes.

·         Having had gestational diabetes while pregnant.

·         Having delivered a baby that weighed 9 pounds or more.

·         High blood pressure.

·         Not being physically active.

Health care providers can use the hotline to refer their prediabetic patients to services.

The Minneapolis Health Department and the Minnesota Department of Health sponsor the hotline and many of the Diabetes Prevention Programs with funding from the Centers for Disease Control.

For more information about the Diabetes Prevention Program, people can call Diabetes Prevention Connection at 1-888-643-2584 or go to www.minneapolismn.gov/health.

Published Oct 20, 2016