NIFA funds diabetes awareness education in Washington State
The number of people affected by diabetes continues to grow in Washington State – 350,000 people are living with diabetes, while another 150,000 are living with diabetes but have not been diagnosed. People with lower incomes and education levels are at greater risk to developing diabetes. These same individuals do not have access to diabetes education and the health care they need to manage the disease and prevent the complications caused by uncontrolled blood sugar levels. The Washington project, funded by NIFA’s Division of Family and Consumer Sciences, offers diabetes awareness education classes that reach about 300 individuals with diabetes in communities with high diabetes rates. During the program enrollment, 62 percent of participants had A1c hemoglobin levels that were greater than the target of 7.0 percent; 67 percent of participants had blood pressure levels that were greater than the target 130/80 mm Hg. Sixty-three percent of the participants completed surveys upon enrollment and again 3 months later to measure their knowledge, attitude, and health behaviors regarding diabetes, A1c, and blood pressure levels. Participants who completed the program had significant improvement in knowledge and confidence to manage their diabetes. They reported improvements in behaviors that support diabetes management, including using the nutrition fact labels, controlling portion sizes, choosing more fruits and vegetables, and being more physically active. Changes in A1c and blood pressure levels showed improvement at the 3-month follow up.
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