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VA Maryland Health Care System

 

VA Maryland Health Care System Participates in Pilot Diabetes Prevention Program

The Veterans Affairs (VA) Maryland Health Care System is one of three VA health care facilities across the country to initiate a demonstration project of the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) now being implemented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This demonstration project will determine whether the a diabetes prevention program can work in the VA health care setting, with the goal of assessing whether modest weight loss through dietary change and increased physical activity can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes in Veterans who are at risk for, but not yet diagnosed with, this disease.  

This DPP will be offered to Veterans in addition to existing clinical programs that promote health and prevent disease. A limited number of Veterans with pre-diabetes will be able to participate in this pilot clinical program, which is also taking place at the VA medical centers in Minneapolis and Greater Los Angeles, with the VA Ann Arbor Health Care System serving as the Coordinating Center.

“It is important that Veterans understand type 2 diabetes is a preventable condition,” says Dr. Nannette Steinle, interim chief of Diabetes and Endocrinology for the VA Maryland Health Care System. “Research shows that walking about 30 minutes a day most days of the week in combination with a healthy diet and modest weight loss are effective in preventing or delaying type 2 diabetes.”

Participants in the program will take part in group face-to-face sessions, follow a 16-session curriculum with three to six optional follow-up sessions and complete the curriculum as a group, starting at the same time. The Veterans’ weight loss, dietary and activity goals are predetermined by the DPP.  Participants may enter the curriculum at any point and are encouraged to determine their own goals for weight loss and dietary and physical activity changes.
Veterans with pre-diabetes will be offered participation in the VA DPP. To be considered, a Veteran must meet these criteria:

  • Be enrolled in the VA Maryland Health Care System;
  • Be 18 years of age or older;
  • Be overweight/obese (BMI of 25 kg/m2 or greater) and not already have a diagnosis of diabetes;
  • Have a hemoglobin A1c test value between 5.7 and 6.4 percent or a fasting glucose level between 100 and 125 mg/dL to meet the criteria for pre-diabetes;
  • Live reasonably close, approximately one-hour’s travel time or less, from a participating facility.

For more information about the VA DPP, please contact Tammy Bremer at the VA Maryland Health Care System at 1-800-463-6295, ext. 7188.

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