ACOEM provides tools and resources to help employers manage diabetes

Published on November 16, 2012 at 12:50 AM · No Comments

In recognition of November as National Diabetes Month, the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) is providing tools and resources to help employers identify and respond to the impact of diabetes on worker health and productivity.

Diabetes affects more than 24 million Americans. It is the seventh leading cause of death and the leading cause of kidney failure, new blindness in adults, and leg/foot amputations unrelated to injury. It is a major cause of heart disease and stroke. The estimated cost of diabetes in the U.S. in 2007 was $174 billion. Indirect costs - disability, work loss, premature death - were $58 billion. However, employers and employees can take steps to prevent or control this disease which accounts for 15 million lost work days and 120 million work days with reduced performance per year.

"Diabetes is one of the most serious conditions affecting employee health and productivity — but at the same time, using the right tools and strategies, employers can stay ahead of it and promote the healthiest workforce possible through an emphasis on wellness and prevention activities. ACOEM is committed to providing employers with the resources to accomplish this goal." said Barry Eisenberg, ACOEM executive director.

"While diabetes is all too common, it is treatable, and in the case of Type 2 diabetes, it can be preventable. Given the right tools, employers are capable of reducing the health risks and health costs of diabetes by instituting innovative workplace wellness programs that engage workers to be more proactive about their health," said Ron Loeppke, MD, MPH, FACOEM. Dr. Loeppke is ACOEM President-elect and Chairman of the Diabetes at Work group, a free on-line resource specifically designed to address the management of diabetes in the workplace as part of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Diabetes Education Program. Earlier this year, Dr. Loeppke, with Pam Allweiss, MD, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Division of Diabetes Translation, and Kristina Ernst, Program Consultant, CDC, National Diabetes Prevention Program, conducted a live demonstration of the DiabetesAtWork web site.

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