SMHC Launches National Diabetes Prevention Program

March 26, 2018
SMHC Endocrinology - Barra Rd, BiddefordSouthern Maine Health Care (SMHC) will begin offering the National Diabetes Prevention Program on April 24, 2018 with classes meeting at 655 Main Street in Saco. The year-long program is recognized by the CDC and has proven to help participants reduce their risk for developing type 2 diabetes through modest weight loss and increased physical activity.

The National Diabetes Prevention Program is based on research led by the National Institutes of Health that found people with prediabetes who take part in a structured lifestyle change program can cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent.

According to the CDC, more than one out of three adults in the U.S. have prediabetes. Prediabetes is defined as having a blood glucose (sugar) level that is higher than normal but not high enough to be considered diabetes. Having prediabetes increases your chance of getting more serious health problems such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

The American Diabetes Association estimates that over 37 percent of Maine’s adult population has prediabetes. Without weight loss and moderate physical activity, 15 to 30 percent of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within five years. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed with healthy lifestyle changes; the first step to preventing diabetes is to find out your risk.

“If you have a family history of type 2 diabetes, are carrying extra weight, and get little or  no physical activity, you could be at risk for developing type 2 diabetes,” said SMHC Family Nurse Practitioner Louise Beaulieu. “Age also plays a role, so if you are over 45 and have more than one of these risk factors, you should talk to your provider about getting screened for diabetes.”

In order to qualify for the National Diabetes Prevention Program, participants must be at least 18 years of age, determined “overweight” by a body mass index equal to or greater than 25, and be diagnosed with prediabetes via blood work, a previous diagnosis of gestational diabetes, or by a qualifying risk score from a diabetes risk assessment test. Participants do not need a doctor’s referral to register for the program.

The hour-long classes will meet weekly on Tuesday nights from 5:00 – 6:00 pm for the first 16 weeks, then bi-monthly or monthly for the remainder of the year. For more information about the program, contact the MaineHealth Prevention Program at (207) 661-7294 or visit to register.

About Southern Maine Health Care
Southern Maine Health Care (SMHC) is a national award-winning healthcare system with a non-profit mission “to improve the health and health care of the communities we serve.”  SMHC includes a full service, acute care medical center in Biddeford, with York County’s only inpatient mental health unit. Emergency care, surgical services, and diagnostic and therapy services are available at SMHC’s Medical Centers in Biddeford and Sanford. SMHC offers primary care and multi-specialty physician services, diagnostic and therapy services, and Walk-In Care centers in various York County communities including Biddeford, Kennebunk, Saco, Sanford, North Berwick and Waterboro. SMHC is Joint Commission accredited and has been recognized for quality excellence by numerous outside organizations. To learn more about SMHC and SMHC providers, visit,, or