LIFT Diabetes stands for the Lifestyle Intervention for the Treatment of Diabetes by Wake Forest School of Medicine’s Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity. The project is designed to reduce diabetes- complications experienced by many groups including African Americans. The project’s is consistent with the late Dr. Angelou’s goals of bringing social justice and optimal health for all people.
The Center for Disease Control recently reported that since 2010 the number of Americans with diabetes has grown by 3.3 million people to 29.1 million or 9.3 percent of the US population, with one of eight African American adults having the disease. Each year 1.7 million adults are diagnosed. Medical costs are twice as high and risk of death is 50 percent higher for those with diagnosed diabetes compared to people without the disease.
Through effective treatment and management, people with diabetes can keep their blood glucose in control and lower their risk of serious complications. Heart disease and stroke, blindness, kidney failure, and losing limbs are much more likely to develop in people with diabetes. Diabetes is a challenge as those with the disease face the daily efforts to follow a healthy eating plan, engage in regular physical activity, lose excess weight, take medications, and check their blood glucose while still keeping up their commitments to family, work, and the community.
LIFT Diabetes is designed to help those with diabetes learn to manage the disease and have healthier and more productive lives. The project is sponsored by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. Dr. Alain Bertoni, MD, MPH, Research Director for the Center and leader of LIFT project hopes that people with type 2 diabetes will gain the skills and confidence to manage diabetes through education and guidance beyond what can be offered by their physician. They will have a chance to receive support from health educators, community coaches, and other participants. He hopes that these new approaches to helping people gain control of their diabetes will be successful and will be implemented more broadly here in North Carolina and beyond.
Currently the project is seeking volunteers who are 21 years or older and have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Leading the community-wide recruitment effort are Stedman Jones, MPH and Valery Effoe, MD, MS. They are reaching out to community and faith based organizations. Those who qualify for the study will be randomly chosen to participate in either a diabetes self-managing education program or a community program aimed at weight loss and increased exercise. Participants in either group will gain awareness and knowledge of how they can stay healthy and manage the risks associated with type 2 diabetes.
To learn more about LIFT Diabetes call 336-713-2914. For information about the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity, please visit: http://www.wakehealth.edu/MACHE.