One Third of Participants in a Workforce Study Reduce Risk for Diabetes after Employer Wellness Screening and Behavioral Counseling, Finds Quest Diagnostics Study
The analysis examined three years of de-identified laboratory and biometric test results for at-risk employees and spouses or partners enrolled in an employer-sponsored wellness program who also participated in a digital intervention program. Following the program, one third (32%) of participants whose initial tests results showed evidence of prediabetes (fasting glucose (FG) 100-125 mg/dL or hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) 5.7-6.4%) or diabetes (FG ≥126mg/dL or HbA1c ≥6.5%), achieved normal blood levels.
Twenty-nine percent of individuals lost five percent or more of body weight. As well as reductions in levels of FG and HbA1c, other improvements included a significant drop in triglycerides, a maker of heart disease risk and a reduction in the ten-year risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
U.S. employers currently provide health insurance to an estimated 153 million employees, and absorb most of the associated costs for employees' care.
"Many employers are eager to implement employee wellness programs that drive better health and cost outcomes, but are unsure of how best to achieve these goals. This study demonstrates a viable two-step solution – identifying people at higher risk using objective lab and biometric measures and then supporting their access to programs to modify behaviors and thereby reduce those risks," said lead researcher
The cohort of 107 at-risk individuals participated in a 16-week digital Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) focused on education and behavior modification offered by
Chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease are major drivers in year-over-year increases in employee health benefit costs, which increased 24 percent between 2001 and 2015, and are estimated to increase up to 6.5 percent in 2018, according to a 2017 analysis by
"Workplace wellness programs are the only meaningful interaction many people have with the healthcare system, but it's the employers who foot most of the bill for care costs," said
Heart disease and diabetes are two of the most prevalent chronic conditions. According to the CDC, more than 80 million Americans have pre-diabetes; about 25 percent develop Type 2 diabetes within five years. Heart disease is responsible for one in four deaths in
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Kim Gorode, Quest Diagnostics (Media): 973-520-2800; Shawn Bevec, Quest Diagnostics (Investors): 973-520-2900