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University of Iowa News Release

April 10, 2003

UI REACH Program Helps Ward Off Type 2 Diabetes

People at risk of type 2 diabetes may enroll in a University of Iowa Health Care exercise program designed to ward off the condition. Enrollment is open for the session that will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday evenings April 22 through June 12. The enrollment deadline is April 18.

"Reaching Euglycemia and Comprehensive Health" (REACH) helps individuals with pre-diabetes, the precursor of type 2 diabetes, to normalize their blood sugar, or reach euglycemia. Free UI Health Care screenings are available for people to learn if the REACH program is right for them.

The eight-week program also welcomes people with known diabetes risk factors who are hesitant to start an exercise program because of chronic problems, such as arthritis. Exercise routines are individualized to each person's needs and physical condition.

The REACH team -- a nurse, a psychologist, a physical therapist, a dietitian and a physician -- provide counseling, expert advice, exercise evaluation and exercise sessions. The bi-weekly educational and exercise classes help participants reverse the trend toward diabetes. The program fee is $221.

Type 2 diabetes usually begins in adulthood and causes insulin resistance, in which the body makes insulin but does not respond well to it. Left untreated or inadequately controlled, diabetes can cause heart disease, blindness, kidney failure and infections.

People are at increased risk of developing pre-diabetes and diabetes if any of the following conditions apply: having family members with diabetes; being overweight; having high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels; and being of Native American, African American or Hispanic descent. In addition, several factors put women at risk: having diabetes during pregnancy; giving birth to a baby weighing more than nine pounds; and having polycystic ovarian syndrome (an endocrine condition).

A fasting (before breakfast) test can determine whether a person has pre-diabetes. For more information about a free REACH screening, call UI Health Access toll-free at (800) 777-8442 or 384-8442 locally.

For more information about enrolling in the REACH diabetes prevention program, call (319) 356-2663, extension 3. Information also is available online at

As with all medical decisions, it is best to consult with your personal physician before making any changes to your health care routine.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5137 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 5224-1178

CONTACTS: Media: Becky Soglin, 319 335-6660 Program: REACH Program, (319) 356-2663, ext. 3