With this gift, Kentucky Homeplace community health workers can continue work to improve diabetes outcomes in Appalachia through a Diabetes Self-Management and Education program, which are designed to help people better manage their diabetes through improved self-testing and lifestyle changes, says a release from the University of Kentucky Center of Excellence in Rural Health.
|DIABETES BELT (CDC map)
Sixty-eight of Kentucky’s 120 counties are included in the “Diabetes Belt” of the rural Southeast, counties in which 11 percent or more of adults have been diagnosed with having diabetes, compared to the national average of 8.5.
In these areas, about a third of the excess risk of becoming diabetic is associated with risk factors that can be modified, such as sedentary lifestyle and obesity, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Kentucky, the number of certified diabetes educators in these counties is much lower than in other areas of the state, the UK release says.
The first study, in Eastern Kentucky, showed more glucose testing by patients and lower measures of hemoglobin A1c, the key indicator of diabetes. The new grant will let Kentucky Homeplace expand to include parts of Western Kentucky and enroll more than 300 additional participants.
Kentucky Homeplace was originally developed in 1994 by the UK Center for Excellence in Rural Health as a demonstration project. It now gets state funding and has worked for two decades to provide tens of thousands of rural Kentuckians with medical, social and environmental services they might not have had otherwise, says the release.