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We are pleased to bring you our sixth edition of Fast Facts. This is a brief report on
local data that we believe you will find useful in both understanding and improving the
health of our community. Our goal is to keep it brief and instructive and to provide
opportunities for all persons to positively impact the issue.  


Our topic this time is prediabetes. Please feel free to forward to colleagues, board members and others in the community.


While most people are familiar with diabetes, many have not heard of a condition called prediabetes. This is when a person's blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes.


Unfortunately, this is an increasingly common health issue with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimating that 79 million Americans have prediabetes, but only 7% of people with prediabetes are aware of their condition. They further estimate that one in three adults aged 20 years and older and half of all Americans aged 65 years and older have prediabetes. That would mean that over 21,000 seniors in Allen County have prediabetes!


Who is at Risk

  • People who are 45 years of age or older
  • People who are overweight
  • People who have a parent, brother or sister with diabetes
  • People whose family background is African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, Asian American or Pacific Islander
  • Woman who developed diabetes while pregnant (gestational diabetes), or gave birth to a baby weighing 9 pounds or more
  • People who are physically active less than three times a week



County-level CDC estimates of diagnosed diabetes among adults 20 years of age or older in Allen County, using an age-adjusted percentage, show an increasing trend of diagnosed diabetes from 7% in 2004 to 10% in 2009. This rate is higher than the state rate of 9%. In addition, Allen County currently has a higher mortality rate for diabetes than Indiana. Nationally, the mortality rate for diabetes is 22.5. Indiana is ranked 27th in the United States for number of deaths due to diabetes. Allen County has a higher age-adjusted mortality rate for diabetes than Indiana.




The national cost of diabetes in the U.S. in 2007 exceeded $174 billion. This estimate included $116 billion in excess medical expenditures attributed to diabetes, as well as $58 billion in reduced national productivity. People with diagnosed diabetes, on average, have medical expenditures that are approximately 2.3 times higher than the expenditures would be in the absence of diabetes. Approximately $1 in $10 health care dollars is attributed to diabetes. Indirect costs include increased factors such as absenteeism, reduced productivity, and lost productive capacity due to early mortality.[2]

[1] Allen County Community Health Assessment

What You Can Do


 As a health care provider: 

  • Screen patients who meet the above risk factors. For those who meet the criteria of prediabetes, implement a weight loss and exercise plan for those patients within your office or refer to outside educational programs including the YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program

As a patient/parent:    

  • Diabetes (and prediabetes) can be prevented by a few lifestyle changes including modest weight loss (5% to 7% of body weight) and regular physical activity (at least 150 minutes each week of physical activity, such as brisk walking). A dietician, lifestyle coach or fitness trainer can all be helpful in identifying and implementing changes that can work within your busy lifestyle.
  • Parents need to limit their children's screen time to no more than 2 hours per day and encourage regular physical activity. 



As a funder or public official:  

  • Identify areas in your community that lack access to parks, YMCAs, fitness centers and healthy food outlets and implement policies and infrastructure that ensure access by all citizens to these critical resources.



  • The YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program helps those at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles in order to reduce their chances of developing the disease.  In a classroom setting, a trained lifestyle coach helps participants change their lifestyle by learning about eating, physical activity and other behavior changes over the course of 16 one-hour sessions. After the initial sessions, participants meet monthly for added support to help them maintain their progress. To qualify, a person must be 18 years of age or older, be overweight/obese (BMI>25) and at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes or have been diagnosed with prediabetes. For more information or to apply, call Wendy Spitznagel at (260) 918-2148 or email
  • Lutheran Health Network's Diabetes Education. If you have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes or glucose intolerance, Dupont Hospital offers education classes designed for you. These classes provide you with the necessary tools to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes and improve your lifestyle. They are offered monthly in the evening and are taught by a registered nurse and dietitian. For additional information or to register for a class, call (260) 416-3260. 

  • Parkview  Diabetes Treatment Center. Parkview offers free diabetes risk assessments as well as outpatient treatment services and educational seminars. Call (260) 373-4280 for more information.

  • Criteria for prediabetes can be found at:
Fast Facts is a collaboration of the Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health and
United Way of Allen County 2-1-1
  Contact Deborah McMahan, MD or John Silcox
 c/o Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health