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What is the “National Diabetes Prevention Program” (DPP) Anyway?

The National Diabetes Prevention Program, or NDPP, is a nationwide network of organizations aimed at lowering the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in the US. Eligible DPP participants have been diagnosed with prediabetes or display at least 5 of the risk factors identified by the CDC’s Risk Quiz. With access to a health coach and evidence-based lifestyle change programs, participants reduce their risk of diabetes by as much as 58% — or 71% for those 60 years old and older.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 88 million American adults have prediabetes, and 84% of them are unaware. These individuals are at an increased risk of full-fledged type 2 diabetes, along with developing heart disease or experiencing a stroke. The statistics are staggering and scary — but the disease is 100% preventable. As is the case with most preventable health phenomenons, awareness is key to turning numbers around.

Enter the CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program, or NDPP for short.

National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) Overview

The CDC introduced the National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) initiative in 2010. NDPP is essentially a framework that gives Americans access to evidence-based, affordable lifestyle change programs that delay or reverse the onset of type 2 diabetes. Partner organizations in the National DPP network include federal agencies, health professionals, employers, and others in the public and private sectors; and their shared goal is to reduce the prevalence of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes in the United States.

National Diabetes Prevention Program Curriculum & Requirements

The Diabetes Prevention Program is delivered by CDC-recognized providers around the United States. All lifestyle change programs are one year in duration and share the following key elements:

  • Approved content following the CDC’s “PreventT2” curriculum
  • A Lifestyle Coach trained and certified by the Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists (ADCES)
  • Tracking of participants’ weight, food intake, physical activity, and coaching sessions attended
  • A designated Program Coordinator to represent each CDC-accredited NDPP provider
  • Standard operating procedures and data submission requirements for Diabetes Prevention Recognition Program (DPRP) providers

Offered both online and in-person, the Diabetes Prevention Program promotes lifestyle changes aimed at preventing diabetes.

As participants progress through a one-year journey, they learn to incorporate physical activity into their daily routine, choose healthier foods, and practice coping skills for healthier stress management. Weight loss is used as the primary measure of success in the program, as losing 5% of your body weight can lower your risk of type 2 diabetes by 58%. However, DPP participants will tell you the impact on their life is far greater than the number they see on the scale.

MDPP vs. NDPP: Medicare & National Diabetes Prevention Program

While researching the Diabetes Prevention Program, you’ll notice a few flavors of abbreviations. We’ve already covered the National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP); its lesser-known sibling is the Medicare DPP, or MDPP, offering. The Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program is simply a variation of the CDC’s behavior change intervention made available to Medicare beneficiaries.

The program requirements are slightly different for MDPP. For example, in addition to the NDPP requirements, individuals must also not have end-stage renal disease (ESRD) to be considered eligible for MDPP; the program also lasts up to 24 months, and you may only participate once in your life.

Do I Qualify for the National Diabetes Prevention Program?

To qualify for a Diabetes Prevention Program referral, you must be at-risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Your diabetes risk increases if you are male, have high blood pressure, have a family history of diabetes, or had diabetes while pregnant. African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanics, American Indians, and Pacific Islanders are also at increased risk, according to the ADA.

You know you’re at risk, and therefore eligible for DPP participation, if any of the following three criteria apply:

  1. In the last year, you’ve had been diagnosed with prediabetes based on a blood test result:
    • Hemoglobin A1C: 5.7–6.4% or
    • Fasting plasma glucose: 100–125 mg/dL or
    • Two-hour plasma glucose (after a 75 gm glucose load): 140–199 mg/dL
  2. You’ve scored “high risk” on the CDC’s Prediabetes Risk Quiz
  3. You were diagnosed with diabetes while pregnant (i.e., gestational diabetes diagnosis)

The program eligibility guidelines also require that individuals:

  • Are overweight as defined by body mass index (minimum BMI of 23 for Asian Americans; BMI of 25+ for all others)
  • Are not pregnant
  • Are at least 18 years of age

Those who have diabetes or were previously diagnosed with diabetes — types 1 or 2 — are not eligible for the Diabetes Prevention Program.

Who Offers the National Diabetes Prevention Program?

Lifestyle Change Programs, a key component of the DPP initiative, are offered throughout the United States — online, in-person, and in combination delivery formats.

The class schedule, size, and cost vary by provider, so search the DPRP registry for a program that meets your needs.

Some of partner organizations may sound familiar to you. The YMCA, Baptist, Florida Blue, and USPM are on the list.

USPM Offers a Free Online Diabetes Prevention Program

USPM is fully recognized as a DPRP provider. We’re proud to deliver the Diabetes Prevention Program to populations throughout the US. If you’re interested in participating, reach out to learn about our DPP offering. As a DPP provider, USPM partners with employers, health insurance payors, and other organizations to make our lifestyle change program available to as many at-risk individuals as possible. In many cases, your participation may be 100% free to you. A representative from our Member Care team would be happy to walk you through a quick questionnaire to determine whether you are eligible for our offering.

USPM's National Diabetes Prevention Program stats
USPM maintains Full Recognition status as Diabetes Prevention Program provider.

Our DPP participants’ health outcomes speak for themselves. Those who actively engage in our Prevent T2 program for at least one year lose an average of more than 7% of their starting body weight — cutting their risk of type 2 diabetes in half and improving their quality of life.

Diabetes Prevention Recognition Program (DPRP) Requirements

The CDC established the Diabetes Prevention Recognition Program Standards. Organizations undergo a rigorous accreditation process to achieve Full Recognition status as a DPRP provider. The CDC requires all DPP providers to submit cohort data every six months to earn and maintain their recognition status; that data is used to evaluate whether the provider “demonstrates effectiveness” by hitting the program targets outlined in the DPRP Standards.

Join the National Diabetes Prevention Program

After participating in USPM’s Prevent T2 program for several months, Elizabeth shared her testimony: “I have lost weight, developed added strength and muscle tone, and more than that I feel stronger and more energetic than I have in years.” As amazing as her story is, it’s not the only one we’ve seen.

Individuals who participate in a CDC-recognized Diabetes Prevention Program have more energy, more stable blood sugar levels, and less stress as they enjoy the benefits of a healthier lifestyle. Take the quiz today — and take the first step toward a healthier you!

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