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Medical Association Wants To Reduce Number Of Pre-diabetic Patients

American Medical Association

The American Medical Association wants to see more diabetic lifestyle modification programs. Roughly 86 million Americans are estimated to be pre-diabetic, meaning many people may develop diabetes if they don’t change diet and exercise choices.

Steven Stack is President of the American Medical Association. Stack says he would like to see more programs developed to prevent chronic illnesses before patients need treatment.

“We’re finding that in a primary care office, half of the visits are for chronic care, and more than 75 percent of the cost is driven by patients with chronic medical conditions so we simply have to do a better job in managing and coordinating chronic care,” says Stack.

Stack says so far, doctors are seeing success in referring at risk patients to diabetes prevention programs offered by wellness organizations like the YMCA. He says if 10 percent of people were prevented from becoming diabetic, it would impact nearly 9 million people from developing the chronic disease.

“If we’re going to address and decrease the number of people who are progressing from at risk to being an adult onset diabetic to actually becoming diabetic, we simply have to address their choices of lifestyle, which is very difficult. But we’re happy though to see that the Y and others will similar programs have demonstrated success in being able to help people lose weight, be more active, and eat healthier.”  

Stack says in primary care offices, the Medical Association is also working to make high blood pressure control more reliable and consistent.