A Growing and Costly Issue
- Approximately 2.84 million people in Texas (14% of the population) have diabetes. Among them, an estimated 663,000 are undiagnosed, which greatly increases their health risks.
- Another 6.8 million people have prediabetes, with blood glucose levels above the normal range but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.
- The annual cost of diabetes and prediabetes in Texas is estimated at $23.7 billion.
- Texas is projected to have a higher diabetes incidence rate and increased health care costs in the future due to the growing population of Hispanics/Latinos, who are at greater risk for the disease.
AgriLife Extension’s Response
- Diabetes is not curable, but it is manageable. People can learn skills to effectively manage their diabetes when education is readily available.
- AgriLife Extension programs targeting diabetes include Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes; ¡Sí, Yo Puedo Controlar Mí Diabetes!; Cooking Well with Diabetes; and Wisdom, Power, Control.
- These programs teach participants the skills to effectively manage their diabetes, or reduce the risk of developing diabetes through better nutrition, exercise, and monitoring blood-sugar levels.
- Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes is a low-cost class series covering nine self-care and nutrition topics in five sessions.
- Recognizing the need for culturally relevant type 2 diabetes self-management education for Texas Hispanics/Latinos, AgriLife Extension developed ¡Sí, Yo Puedo Controlar Mí Diabetes! to address this gap in health programming.
- Cooking Well with Diabetes engages dietitians and diabetes educators to reinforce the practical nutritional applications of the self-care lesson series Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes.
- Wisdom, Power, Control was developed to address the need for an evidence-based, culturally relevant type 2 diabetes self-management education (DSME) program to help African Americans.
- Through Healthy South Texas, the pilot program of Healthy Texas, AgriLife Extension is working to reduce the highest impact diseases and their consequences throughout a 27-county region in South Texas. The goal is to focus on prevention by engaging families and communities, promoting healthy behaviors, encouraging preventive care, and improving disease outcomes.
- For people without diabetes, average annual health care costs range from $4,220 to $7,151. For those with diabetes, that amount soars to an average of $16,752 per year.
- Proper self-management of the disease enables people with diabetes to reduce their health care cost to levels closer to the non-diabetes level.
- For 2017, these diabetes education programs achieved more than 12,000 educational and other contacts, resulting in estimated lifetime health care cost savings and improved productivity of $24 million.
From a broader perspective, these programs reach communities and individuals lacking access to diabetes education, enabling a better quality of life and improved productivity for people with diabetes.