This webpage is archived for historical purposes and is no longer being maintained or updated.
Launched in April 2002, Diabetesatwork.org is the first online resource specifically designed to address the management of diabetes in the workplace.
- It was developed for top-level managers, occupational health providers, benefits and human resource managers, and employees.
- Diabetesatwork.org is a free, easy-to-use Web site that enables companies to assess their need for diabetes education at the worksite. Users can download more than 30 resources that can be used to inform employees about how to best manage their diabetes while at work and how to reduce their risk for further complications.
- More than 30 lesson plans and fact sheets can be downloaded and E-mailed to employees. Topics include general weight loss and exercise; managing diabetes if you are a shift worker; supervising an employee with diabetes; business travel and diabetes; and taking an occupational health history for an employee with diabetes who is choosing a health plan.
- The Web site was developed in collaboration with the National Diabetes Education Program’s Business and Managed Care Work Group and is hosted by the Washington Business Group on Health. Other collaborators include the American Association of Health Plans, National Business Coalition on Health, and the Washington Business Group on Health.
Diabetesatwork.org fills a great educational need in the business community.
- Web site content was developed by diabetes educators, occupational health care providers, wellness managers, and health plan benefits managers who saw a great need to make diabetes educational information easily accessible and user-friendly to employers and managers at both large and small companies.
- The information on diabetesatwork.org can be used to create low-cost education programs, fact sheets, Web sites, and news health bulletins for employers that can be printed in company newsletters. The information can also be incorporated into current health management programs, health fairs, and brown bag lunches, and can help senior managers make the business case to top company executives about the need to address diabetes in the workplace.
Making the Business Case for Diabetes Education in the Workplace
Diabetes is on the rise in epidemic proportions.
- Nearly 24 million Americans have diabetes.
- Many people in their 20s and 30s were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
- Adults with diabetes die of heart disease 2 to 4 times more than people without diabetes.
- The risk for stroke is 2 to 4 times higher among people with diabetes.
- Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults aged 20 to 74 years old and is the leading cause of end-stage renal disease.
- More than 60% of nontraumatic, lower-limb amputations in the United States occur among people with diabetes.
- Type 2 diabetes is a growing epidemic among Native Americans, African Americans, and Hispanics, Asian Americans and Native Hawaiians or other Pacific Islanders.
Diabetes does affect corporate America and its bottom line.
- In 2007, direct and indirect costs of diabetes total nearly $174 billion a year.
- People with diagnosed diabetes, on average have medical expenditures that are 2.3 times higher than what the expenditures would be in the absence of diabetes.
- In 2007, Indirect costs include increased absenteeism ($2.6 billion) and reduced productivity while at work ($20.0 billion for the employed population, reduced productivity for those not in the labor force ($0.8 billion), unemployment from disease- related disability ($7.9 billion) and lost productive capacity due to early mortality ($26.9 billion).
- Diabetes accounts for 15 million work days absent, 120 million work days with reduced performance, 107 million work days lost due to unemployment disability attributed to diabetes.
- People with diabetes have health a related absenteeism rate that is 0.8% higher than people without diabetes.
- The population with the highest per capita productivity loss from absenteeism is males age 45-53.
Corporate America can help employees manage their diabetes or reduce their risks of developing it.
- With employees spending more than one-third of their days on the job, corporate America is in a unique position to address this health issue.
- It is in the employer’s best interest to try to work with their employees who have diabetes or are at risk for the disease to improve productivity and lower health costs as well as help employees stay in good mental and physical health.
- Control the ABCs (A1c, Blood Pressure, Cholesterol)
- Glucose Control. In general, every percentage point drop in AIC blood glucose reduces the risk of microvascular complications (eye, kidney and nerve diseases) by 40%.
- Blood Pressure Control. Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease (heart disease or stroke) by 33% to 50% and the risk of microvascular complications by approximately 33%.
- Control of Blood Lipids. Improved control of cholesterol or blood lipids (e.g., HDL, LDL and triglycerides) can reduce cardiovascular complications by 20% to 50%.
- Preventive Care Practices for Eyes, Feet and Kidneys.
- Detecting and treating diabetes eye disease with laser therapy can reduce the development of severe vision loss by an estimated 50% to 60.
- Comprehensive foot care programs can reduce amputation rates by 45% to 85%.
- Detecting and treating early diabetic kidney disease by lowering blood pressure can reduce kidney function decline by 30% to 70%.
- Current data from the American Diabetes Association : show that people with diabetes who control their disease by keeping their blood sugar down cost employers only $24 a month, compared with the $115 a month for people with diabetes who do not control their blood sugar.
Diabetes prevention is proven, possible, and powerful.
- Studies show that people at high risk for type 2 diabetes can prevent or delay the onset of the disease by losing 5 to 7 percent of their body weight, .by eating healthier and getting 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days a week. The key is: small steps that lead to big rewards.