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Release: Jan. 2, 2003

NOTE TO EDITORS: Enrollment for the program described in this release ends Jan. 7.

REACH program can help people resolving to ward off type 2 diabetes

People at risk of type 2 diabetes who are resolving to ward off the condition in the new year can enroll in a proven exercise program developed by University of Iowa Health Care.

Reaching Euglycemia and Comprehensive Health (REACH) helps individuals with
pre-diabetes, the precursor of type 2 diabetes, to normalize their blood sugar (reach euglycemia). Enrollment is open for the session that begins Jan. 14. 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 meet each person's needs and physical condition.

The REACH team -- consisting of a nurse, a psychologist, a physical therapist, a dietitian and a physician -- provides counseling, expert advice, exercise evaluation and exercise sessions. Participants attend bi-weekly educational and exercise classes to help them 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.

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