Press Release

Diabetes Education Prevents Complications, Reduces Burden on Healthcare System

For Release: November 1, 2010

David Harrison at 410.843.3869,
Diana Pihos at 312.601.4864,

CHICAGO – NOVEMBER 1, 2010 – Diabetes Education, also known as diabetes self-management training (DSMT), is a valuable tool that helps to prevent or delay complications from diabetes and reduces the burden on the healthcare system. And yet it is widely underutilized by the more than 24 million people in the U.S. who have diabetes, according to the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE).

A recent study has demonstrated that commercially insured patients who received diabetes education cost, on average, 5.7 percent less than those who do not receive diabetes education.

Medicare patients who participated in diabetes education cost the health care system 14 percent less than Medicare patients who did not participate. Moreover, those who belonged to physician practices that more frequently referred patients for diabetes education had better overall quality care for their diabetes.

Follow up studies have shown that ongoing diabetes education throughout a person’s life continues to yield health and financial benefits.

Estimates vary, but the studies show that no more than 60 percent of people with diabetes pursue diabetes self-management training classes and only 26 percent have seen a diabetes educator in the 12 months prior to taking the survey.

In recognition of Diabetes Education Week, November 1-7, 2010, AADE is reminding people of the AADE7® core elements of Diabetes Education:

  • Healthy Eating
  • Being Active
  • Daily Self Monitoring
  • Taking Medication
  • Problem Solving Skills
  • Reducing Risks
  • Healthy Coping

"While these components of the AADE7 may sound simple to someone unaffected by diabetes, they are very complicated for people with the disease," said AADE President Deborah Fillman, MS, RD, LD, CDE. "The diagnosis of diabetes, which impacts everything someone eats, typically triggers an onslaught of questions about how to cope with and manage the disease. Diabetes Education addresses physical and emotional issues and prevents the complications that often result."

Complications from diabetes might include damage to blood vessels around the eye, foot and skin problems, nerve tissue damage and increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

About the AADE:
Founded in 1973, AADE is a multi-disciplinary professional membership organization dedicated to improving diabetes care through education.  With more than 12,000 professional members including physicians, nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, and others, AADE has a vast network of practitioners involved in the daily treatment of diabetes patients. To learn more go to: Click here to download educational handouts on the AADE7 in English and Spanish.