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Launched in April 2002,* is the first online resource specifically designed to address the management of diabetes in the workplace.

  • It was developed for top-level managers, occupational health providers, benefits and human resource managers, and employees.
  • is a free, easy-to-use Web site that enables companies to assess their need for diabetes education at the worksite. Users can download more than 30 resources that can be used to inform employees about how to best manage their diabetes while at work and how to reduce their risk for further complications.
  • More than 30 lesson plans and fact sheets can be downloaded and E-mailed to employees. Topics include general weight loss and exercise; managing diabetes if you are a shift worker; supervising an employee with diabetes; business travel and diabetes; and taking an occupational health history for an employee with diabetes who is choosing a health plan.
  • The Web site was developed in collaboration with the National Diabetes Education Program’s Business and Managed Care Work Group and is hosted by the Washington Business Group on Health. Other collaborators include the American Association of Health Plans, National Business Coalition on Health, and the Washington Business Group on Health. fills a great educational need in the business community.

  • Web site content was developed by diabetes educators, occupational health care providers, wellness managers, and health plan benefits managers who saw a great need to make diabetes educational information easily accessible and user-friendly to employers and managers at both large and small companies.
  • The information on can be used to create low-cost education programs, fact sheets, Web sites, and news health bulletins for employers that can be printed in company newsletters. The information can also be incorporated into current health management programs, health fairs, and brown bag lunches, and can help senior managers make the business case to top company executives about the need to address diabetes in the workplace.

Making the Business Case for Diabetes Education in the Workplace

Diabetes is on the rise in epidemic proportions.

  • Nearly 17 million Americans have diabetes.
  • Average age of onset of type 2 diabetes is 51 years old, but during the 1990s, many people in their 20s and 30s were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
  • Adults with diabetes die of heart disease 2 to 4 times more than people without diabetes.
  • The risk for stroke is 2 to 4 times higher among people with diabetes.
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults aged 20 to 74 years old and is the leading cause of end-stage renal disease.
  • More than 60% of nontraumatic, lower-limb amputations in the United States occur among people with diabetes.
  • Type 2 diabetes is a growing epidemic among Native Americans, African Americans, and Hispanics.
  • Prevalence data for diabetes among Asian Americans and Native Hawaiians or other Pacific Islanders are limited. Some groups within these populations are at increased risk for diabetes. For example, data collected from 1996 to 2000 suggest that Native Hawaiians are 2.5 times more likely to have diagnosed diabetes than white residents of Hawaii of similar age.

Diabetes does affect corporate America and its bottom line.

  • In 1997, diabetes accounted for 14 million lost disability days and an average of 8.3 days off from work per year. People without diabetes or other chronic conditions averaged 1.7 days off from work.
  • The total cost attributed to permanent disability among people with diabetes is estimated at $37.1 billion.
  • Direct and indirect costs of diabetes total nearly $100 billion a year. Overall, medical costs of people with diabetes are four times those of people without diabetes or other chronic conditions.

Corporate America can help employees manage their diabetes or reduce their risks of developing it.

  • With employees spending more than one-third of their days on the job, corporate America is in a unique position to address this health issue.
  • It is in the employer’s best interest to try to work with their employees who have diabetes or are at risk for the disease to improve productivity and lower health costs as well as help employees stay in good mental and physical health.
  • Current data from the American Diabetes Association show that people with diabetes who control their disease by keeping their blood sugar down cost employers only $24 a month, compared with the $115 a month for people with diabetes who do not control their blood sugar.

* Links to non-Federal organizations are provided solely as a service to our users. Links do not constitute an endorsement of any organization by CDC or the Federal Government, and none should be inferred. The CDC is not responsible for the content of the individual organization Web pages found at this link.

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Page last modified: December 20, 2005

Content Source: National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Division of Diabetes Translation

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