Make the Link Between Diabetes and Heart Disease (CVD)
Diabetes can increase your employees’ risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. A workplace wellness program that incorporates diabetes prevention and management can help employees tackle Cardio Vascular Disease risk factors. These factors include the following:
- High Blood Glucose
- High LDL Cholesterol and Triglycerides
- Low HDL Cholesterol
- High Blood Pressure
- Tobacco Use
High Blood Glucose
Offer awareness and screening activities such as the American Diabetes Alert in March. Follow up with education sessions, support groups, and workplace policies that support healthy lifestyles and management of high blood glucose levels. Provide a referral to diabetes education programs and healthcare providers as needed. High blood glucose leads to the complications of diabetes including heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease and neuropathy.
People who have prediabetes (glucose values above normal but lower than the level for diabetes) have an increased risk for heart disease and stroke and a substantially greater risk of developing diabetes later. Refer them to their healthcare provider for further evaluation. Learn more about prediabetes from the National Diabetes Prevention Program.
Include information about weight loss benefits and implement strategies such as CDC’s Workplace Health Obesity Interventions.
High Blood Pressure
Offer screening for high blood pressure and education classes on high blood pressure and stress management. The CDC’s Million Hearts Campaign has resources to help you.
Aids & Tools
- Our wellness budget is very limited. I want to make the greatest impact with the resources I have. What should I do?
Partner with your health plan providers, local hospital, physicians such as endocrinologists, nephrologists, podiatrists, dentists, optometrists as well as nurse practitioners, dietitians, pharmacists, certified diabetes educators and local public health department.
You can get free resources about diabetes and heart disease from the Million Hearts Campaign, the National Diabetes Education Program and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These resource individuals and organizations may be able to assist you with health fairs, prevention efforts and onsite educational and support programs.
- Diabetes is serious and common but not everyone at our worksite has diabetes. How can I provide programs that meet everyone’s needs?
Provide programs that help people to understand that the root causes of most chronic diseases are lifestyle related, namely not eating the right foods and not getting enough physical activity as well as tobacco use, alcohol abuse, insufficient sleep and poor stress management.
Key messages for this group are to live a healthy lifestyle and to participate in regular detection programs through their physician.
Free worksite wellness materials can be found on Diabetes at Work and at CDC’s Total Worker Health Web site.
- What are the three or four key messages that are important for me to deliver in my wellness program?
The key messages are:
- Know your numbers – blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Engage in appropriate physical activity
- Do not use tobacco or abuse alcohol
- Seek medical advice and routine health screenings from your health care provider
Include activities in your worksite wellness program that address overweight and obesity issues. Resources can be found at CDC Overweight and Obesity website.
- Smoking is a leading cause of death and major contributor to poor health and increased health care costs. Include a tobacco cessation program in your worksite wellness offerings. Resources can be found from CDC on the Quit Smoking Web site.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America today. Incorporate efforts that lower the risk of heart disease in your wellness program. Resources are available at the Million Hearts Campaign website.
Include elements in your program to help employees with diabetes and prediabetes lower their blood glucose. Consider offering learning sessions using the following Diabetes at Work lesson plans
- Page last reviewed: December 29, 2016
- Page last updated: December 29, 2016
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