What do type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke have in common? A lot. These three conditions were among the top ten leading causes of death in Idaho in 2016. They share many of the same risk factors and they often occur together.
People with diabetes experience a heart attack or stroke twice as often as people without diabetes, and two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke because uncontrolled glucose levels damage the blood vessels and nerves that control the heart and organs.
In addition, people with diabetes have medical expenses that are approximately 2.3 times higher than those who do not have the disease. In 2017, medical expenses for those diagnosed with diabetes were an estimated $1 billion, in Idaho alone.1
The good news? Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke are largely preventable and manageable. For heart disease and stroke, monitoring and controlling blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, tobacco use, physical inactivity, and obesity can help keep these two diseases from developing. For most cases of type 2 diabetes, monitoring weight, exercising, eating a healthy diet, and not smoking can prevent or even reverse the disease.
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Stroke Prevention Program (IDHDSP) works closely with partners throughout the state to improve the effective delivery and use of clinical care, provide support and resources, and expand the utilization of community services to prevent and manage diabetes and hypertension (high blood pressure). Through collaboration with a statewide network of stakeholders and partners, the IDHDSP works to:
- Increase access and coverage to American Association of Diabetes Educators-accredited self-management education and support programs for people with diabetes.
- Increase use of pharmacist-patient care processes that promote medication management for people with diabetes.
- Increase access to and coverage for the National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) lifestyle change program for people with prediabetes.
- Increase community clinical links that facilitate referrals and provide support to enroll and retain participants in the National DPP lifestyle change program.
- Increase reporting, monitoring, and tracking of clinical data for improved identification, management, and treatment of patients with high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol.
- Increase use of and adherence to evidence-based guidelines and policies related to team-based care for patients with high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol.
- Increase community clinical links that support systematic referrals, self-management, and lifestyle change for patients with high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol.
Diabetes is also one of the Idaho’s top four population health priorities based on results of the new population health assessment and the ongoing requirements of the SHIP Model Test grant. The 2018 Get Healthy Idaho contains goals, objectives, and measures for the diabetes priority area which mirror the program’s goals.