Diabetes as a Self-managed Disease
Research has shown that good blood sugar control can help avoid many complications associated with diabetes. The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial  (DCCT) conducted with individuals with type 1 diabetes, and the United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study of people with type 2 diabetes, among others, have demonstrated that achieving good blood sugar control can decrease complications. Control of blood pressure and cholesterol levels is also important.
DCCT Study Findings
Intensive blood glucose control reduces risk of:
  • Eye disease by 76%
  • Kidney disease by 50%
  • Nerve disease by 60%
When the DCCT ended in 1993, researchers continued to study more than 90 percent of the participants. The follow-up study, called Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications (EDIC), is assessing the incidence and predictors of cardiovascular disease events such as heart attack, stroke, or needed heart surgery, as well as diabetic complications related to the eye, kidney, and nerves. The EDIC study is also examining the impact of intensive control versus standard control on quality of life. Another objective of the study is to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of intensive control. 
EDIC Study Findings
Intensive blood glucose control reduces risk of:
  • Any cardiovascular disease event by 42%
  • Nonfatal heart attack, stroke, or death from cardiovascular causes by 57% 
Diabetes Self-management
Treatment of diabetes varies with the type of diabetes, but many aspects are the same. Diabetes is very much a self-managed disease. Successful self-management requires knowledge, skills and a willingness to modify food choices, increase physical activity, perform blood sugar monitoring, take medications, and see a health care provider regularly. In addition to controlling blood sugars, blood pressure and cholesterol control is important.
People with diabetes should request a referral to a Diabetes Self-Management Education Center to learn about the disease. There are twenty-six centers in Connecticut.  Connecticut based insurance plans are required by law to cover diabetes self-management education (DSME). Medicare, Part B also covers DSME: you pay 20% of the Medicare approved amount after the yearly Part B deductible.  There are also many free, community based diabetes education programs offered at senior centers, senior housing, community centers and other venues.
Diabetes Self-management Education Services
To find a diabetes education program that has achieved American Diabetes Association (ADA) Recognition, use the following link: Connecticut ADA Recognized Education Centers.
To find a diabetes educator as well as some helpful, short diabetes videos, visit the following website: www.diabeteseducator.org.
LIVE WELL: Chronic Disease and Diabetes Self-management Programs

People with diabetes that have taken a diabetes self-management education course may also benefit from the LIVE WELL: Diabetes and Chronic Disease Self-management ProgramsThese community-based classes enhance the diabetes-specific material of diabetes self-management education.  For more information, visit www.cthealthyliving.org.

For more information:

Department of Public Health Contact Information
Connecticut Diabetes Prevention and Control Program (DPCP)
410 Capitol Ave, MS 11-CHLS
Hartford, CT 06134
P: (860) 509-7737
F: (860) 509-7855