November is Diabetes Awareness Month in hopes to bring awareness to the rise of diabetes and the risks associated with it.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), diabetes costs the USA $327 billion in medical expenses and lost productivity.
In addition, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) has ranked diabetes as the seventh leading cause of death for the states.
There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 cannot be prevented, but type 2 can be prevented through a healthy lifestyle. Obesity, sedentary lifestyle and age increase the risk for type 2 diabetes.
Employers should consider a few programs in order to monitor employee health regarding diabetes:
- Make sure your health risk assessment covers a blood glucose section in order to identify those already diagnosed and sets a baseline.
- Implementing effective nutritional and physical activity programs should be included in wellbeing offerings.
- Covering diabetes screenings, coaching and management can help employees get the access they need and prevent large costs down the road.
- Those with diabetes are more likely to contract the flu or pneumonia, so make sure vaccinations are accessible and education is on the forefront.
Overall, taking a step towards encouraging employees to get screened regularly, educating and encouraging a healthy lifestyle can help lower health care costs and show employees you care about their wellbeing.