RALEIGH — The North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) and the American Medical Association (AMA) today announced a joint effort aimed at reducing the incidence of type 2 diabetes in North Carolina. Diabetes affects roughly 1 million adults in the state and has more than 50,000 new diagnoses per year. 

Through the new collaboration, the NCMS and AMA will work to significantly increase the number of North Carolina physicians and health care providers identifying and diagnosing patients with prediabetes—the precursor to type 2 diabetes. The partnership will also encourage more referrals of patients with prediabetes to an evidence-based National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) lifestyle change program recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In North Carolina, it is estimated that almost 4 million adults have been diagnosed with either diabetes or prediabetes. Across the nation, a majority of the adults with prediabetes are unaware that they have the condition—putting them at risk for developing type 2 diabetes without intervention.  

“Working with our physician and PA members to help identify patients with prediabetes and to intervene at this early stage to prevent type 2 diabetes is key to good preventative medical care and benefits everyone,” said NCMS Executive Vice President and CEO Chip Baggett, J.D. “Alongside the AMA, we have developed resources to seamlessly connect patients to Diabetes Prevention Programs in North Carolina—many now available virtually—to significantly reduce the number of people acquiring the chronic condition of type 2 diabetes.”

Through the collaboration, the AMA and NCMS are providing physicians and other health care professionals with a digital resource toolkit to support them in identifying patients with prediabetes , evaluating treatment options, and referring patients to a National DPP lifestyle change program—designed to help patients make healthy, sustainable lifestyle choices.

“The goal of this partnership is to get patients with prediabetes into lifestyle change programs that can help them reduce the risk of progressing to type 2 diabetes,” said AMA President Susan R. Bailey, M.D. “By identifying and diagnosing patients with prediabetes and referring them to a National DPP lifestyle change program, physicians and other health care professionals can help their patients stop type 2 diabetes before it even starts. This is particularly important now more than ever as patients with chronic health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, appear to be at greater risk of adverse health outcomes associated with COVID-19.”

The AMA has been working since 2013 to prevent and reduce the burden of chronic disease, including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. As part of its commitment to improving the health of the nation, the AMA developed its Diabetes Prevention Guide to support physicians and health care organizations in defining and implementing evidence-based diabetes prevention strategies. This comprehensive and customized approach helps clinical practices and health care organizations identify and manage patients with prediabetes, including referring eligible patients  to a National DPP lifestyle-change program based on their individual needs.

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About the American Medical Association

The American Medical Association is the physicians’ powerful ally in patient care. As the only medical association that convenes 190+ state and specialty medical societies and other critical stakeholders, the AMA represents physicians with a unified voice to all key players in health care.  The AMA leverages its strength by removing the obstacles that interfere with patient care, leading the charge to prevent chronic disease and confront public health crises and, driving the future of medicine to tackle the biggest challenges in health care.