Department of Health Launches New “Prevent Diabetes Hawaii” Campaign

It is estimated that one in every two adults in Hawaii has prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, and many have not been diagnosed and may be unaware that they have it. To increase prevention and awareness, the Hawaii Department of Health is launching a new innovative media campaign on March 27 to encourage Hawaii adults to take an online Diabetes Risk Test at PreventDiabetesHawaii.com and share the results with their doctor or health care provider. Actor and comedian Frank De Lima, who has type 2 diabetes, is the spokesperson for the campaign and will appear in television ads and in print ads in malls across the state.

“Prediabetes is a serious health condition that puts people at risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, and the good news is you can reverse prediabetes with basic lifestyle changes,” said Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler. “Type 2 diabetes can be prevented, so it’s very important for people to get screened early and take action.

Prediabetes refers to having a blood sugar that is above the normal level, but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Without effective intervention, 15 to 30 percent of adults with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years. Native Hawaiians, Other Pacific Islanders, and Filipinos have the highest rates of type 2 diabetes, followed by Japanese. Furthermore, people of Asian descent tend to develop prediabetes at a lower body weight than other ethnicities, making them especially susceptible.

“Your risk for prediabetes is increased if you are overweight, 45 years or older, have a parent or sibling with type 2 diabetes, are not physically active, smoke, and ever had gestational diabetes,” said Lola Irvin, Administrator for the Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Division. “Obesity and diabetes are generally known as “twin” epidemics, and this is true also for Hawaii.”

The Prevent Diabetes Hawaii campaign asks everyone to participate in simple 30-second online Diabetes Risk Test and then email, print or download their Diabetes Risk Test results to a computer, smartphone, or tablet to facilitate a later conversation with a doctor or health care provider. The website also contains ideas and tips for individual lifestyle change, as well as information on nationally recognized lifestyle change programs that are available at local community health centers throughout the state, the YMCA, and some hospitals. A portal for health care providers contains links to download campaign materials for waiting rooms and doctors’ offices along with resources to facilitate patient follow-up, such as email templates and phone call scripts.

Focus group testing with adults on Oahu informed the campaign’s development. Prevent Diabetes Hawaii is funded by a combination of state general funds and a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For more information about the campaign or to view the television and print ads, go to www.PreventDiabetesHawaii.com.

NHCH Offering Free Diabetes Educational Classes

In an effort to curb diabetes and promote healthy living, North Hawaii Community Hospital (NHCH) will begin offering free prediabetes educational classes.

North Hawaii Community Hospital

North Hawaii Community Hospital

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 86 million American adults – 1 out of every 3 – has prediabetes with only 11% of individuals with prediabetes aware they have the condition.   Without intervention, 15 to 30% of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within five years.

Prediabetes is defined as having a blood glucose (sugar) level that is higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes.

People are more likely to have prediabetes and type 2 diabetes if they are: 45 years of age or older, overweight, have a family history of type 2 diabetes, physically active fewer than three times per week, and/or have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes during a pregnancy or gave birth to a baby weighing more than nine pounds. Additional signs and symptoms of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes include excessive thirst and hunger, change in weight, frequent urination and high blood glucose.

Classes will consist of three 1.5-hour group sessions, presented by a certified diabetes nurse educator from the hospital’s Diabetes Wellness Center.

Topics covered will include: nutritional education, carbohydrate vs. protein, the importance of exercise for good health and awareness of complications caused by uncontrolled diabetes. Other areas of discussion include meal planning and the social aspects of living with diabetes as well as how to take control of your health.

Classes are offered by NHCH’s Diabetes Wellness Clinic in support of the hospital’s Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) focus topic of “Exercise, Weight and Nutrition.” Classes are currently scheduled for March 17, 24 and 31; April 6, 13, and 20; May 6, 13, and 20; June 9, 23 and 30; and July 15, 22 and 29.

Self referrals and physician referrals are welcome. Program consists of 3 classes. Classes are held from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the Mauna Kea/Mauna Loa Conference Rooms at North Hawaii Community Hospital. Pre-registration is required. Please call 808-881-4832 to register or for more information.

North Hawaii Community Hospital is located at 67-1125 Mamalahoa Hwy in Kamuela, Hawaii. Additional information can be found by visiting www.NHCH.com.