More than One Third of Louisiana Adults Have Prediabetes, Increased Risk for Serious Health Problems

YMCA of GNO and the American Diabetes Association partner to increase awareness of diabetes and local early intervention opportunities

New Orleans, Jan. 29, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Across Louisiana, more than 35 percent of adults have prediabetes and are at an increased risk for serious health complications including kidney failure, blindness, heart disease, and stroke. On the larger scale, approximately 84.1 million Americans have prediabetes, but only 10 percent are actually aware they have the condition.

Prediabetes is a condition in which individuals have blood glucose levels that are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. Often preventable, people with prediabetes can reduce their risk for developing type 2 diabetes by adopting behavior changes that include eating healthier and increasing physical activity.  

In light of this growing health issue in Louisiana, the YMCA of Greater New Orleans and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) for Louisiana and Mississippi have partnered to increase awareness of this devastating disease and to provide programming to decrease the prevalence of diabetes in our community.

“The partnership between the YMCA and the ADA seemed like such a natural fit for our two organizations,” said Erica Halpern, YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program Director. “Through our collaborative efforts we can fight against the diabetes epidemic that impacts both our region's health and our resources. While there isn’t a cure for diabetes, we are committed to helping our neighbors live longer, live stronger and live healthier through diabetes prevention and management programs that offer education and support.”

The YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) helps overweight adults at risk for type 2 diabetes reduce their risk for developing the disease by taking steps that will improve their overall health. DPP is a yearlong program featuring 16 weekly sessions followed by monthly meetings and also includes a free membership to the local YMCA for the participants and their families. The classes are led by a trained lifestyle coach in a classroom setting and teaches participants realistic, healthier eating tools and habits along with safe ways to increase physical activity. Classes are available in Orleans, Jefferson, St. Tammany and Plaquemines parishes and other surrounding communities.

The ADA Wellness Lives Here initiative inspires awareness and healthy habits both at work and at home.  Year-round engagement empowers families, community groups, organizations and companies to drive healthy behaviors and amplify health messaging. For some, it will mean fewer sick days and higher productivity.  For others, it will mean looking and feeling better.  For everyone, it will mean more empowered New Orleanians who can better control, delay or prevent diabetes and other health problems.  To learn more about the Wellness Lives Here initiative, visit

“More than 35 percent of the Louisiana adult population have prediabetes with blood glucose levels higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes,” said Madhavi Rajulapalli, MD, MBA, CHCQM, ADA board member and Aetna Better Health of Louisiana Chief Medical Officer. “As diabetes is the main cause of complications such as heart disease, stroke, amputation, end-stage kidney disease, blindness – and death, it is extremely important that individuals, and physicians, take advantage of these programs to reduce their risk for developing the disease and improve their overall wellbeing.”

To learn more about YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program or register to participate, visit To learn if you’re at risk, take the risk assessment

The YMCA DPP is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-led National Diabetes Prevention Program and is nationally supported by the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance.



About the YMCA of Greater New Orleans
The YMCA of Greater New Orleans is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 21 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change.

About the American Diabetes Association of Louisiana and Mississippi

Nearly half of American adults have diabetes or prediabetes; more than 30 million adults and children have diabetes; and every 21 seconds, another individual is diagnosed with diabetes in the U.S. Founded in 1940, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization whose mission is to prevent and cure diabetes, and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. The ADA drives discovery by funding research to treat, manage and prevent all types of diabetes, as well as to search for cures; raises voice to the urgency of the diabetes epidemic; and works to safeguard policies and programs that protect people with diabetes. In addition, the ADA supports people living with diabetes, those at risk of developing diabetes, and the health care professionals who serve them through information and programs that can improve health outcomes and quality of life. For more information, please call the ADA at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit Information from both of these sources is available in English and Spanish. Find us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association).



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