American Diabetes Association Alert Day

Image Source: Canva

American Diabetes Association Alert Day is observed annually on the fourth Tuesday in March. This day is dedicated to spreading awareness of type 2 diabetes and encouraging people to take the ADA risk test.1

Understand Your Risk

An important part of today is learning about the risk factors of diabetes. Being aware of your risk factors can help you take the right steps to improve your health. Take the American Diabetes Risk Test here: Risk Test | ADA (diabetes.org) This test asks questions about weight, age, family history and other potential risks for type 2 diabetes.2

Common risks include:

  • Being over the age of 451
  • Having a family history of diabetes1
  • Not being physically active1
  • High blood pressure4
  • Abnormal cholesterol levels4

Type 2 Diabetes Prevention

Lower your risk for type 2 diabetes by implementing these lifestyle choices:

  • Eating healthier: choose foods higher in fiber and lower in fat (fruits, vegetables, whole grains).5
  • Physical activity: aerobic activity such as swimming, running, or a fast walk for about 150 or more minutes a week.5
  • Weight loss: If you have prediabetes, losing 7-10% of your body weight can reduce the risk of diabetes.5
  • Stop Smoking

Type 2 Diabetes Statistics

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. According to the CDC. Type 2 diabetes accounts for about 90-95% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes in adults.6 Other key facts about diabetes include:

  • Diabetes affects about 34.2 million Americans.1
  • Nearly 1 in 5 adults living with diabetes, or 7.3 million Americans do not know that they have the disease.1
  • About 88 million people that are 18 years or older have prediabetes. Prediabetes happens when blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not quite high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes.1
  • About 50% of women that have gestational diabetes, a type of diabetes that women develop when pregnant, end up developing type 2 diabetes.1

Tria Health & Diabetes Management

If you currently are diagnosed or have been recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, Tria Health can assist you in managing your medications and finding a treatment plan that works for you. For select members, Tria Health also provides free diabetes testing supplies including a blood glucose meter, testing strips, and a mobile app designed to help you manage your diabetes better.

Questions?

Contact the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742

Sources:

  1. Diabetes Alert Day | NIDDK (nih.gov)
  2. Stop Diabetes:
  3. American Diabetes Association Alert Day | A Complete Guide (lifeweknow.com)
  4. Understand Your Risk for Diabetes | American Heart Association
  5. Type 2 diabetes – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic
  6. Type 2 Diabetes Statistics and Facts (healthline.com)

American Heart Month

Image Source: Canva

Each February, the American Heart Association sponsors American Heart Month. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Every year more than 600,000 Americans die from heart disease.1 The purpose of this month is to raise awareness on the importance of heart health and what you can do to prevent heart disease in yourself and your loved ones.

Heart Disease

Heart disease is caused when plaque develops in the arteries that lead to the heart. Plaque accumulates overtime when the lining of an artery is damaged by high blood pressure, smoking or high cholesterol.3 When plaque clogs your arteries, oxygen and nutrients are unable to reach your heart.

Risk Factors3

Common risk factors are:

  • Smoking tobacco
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Having a high-sodium and high-carbohydrate diet
  • Obesity

Facts About Heart Health

  1. One in five heart attacks happen without the person even knowing that they had one.1
  2. Women under the age of 50 are twice as likely to die of a heart attack than men under 50.1
  3. Heart attacks are more likely to occur on Monday mornings than other days of the week. 1
  4. Diet soda raises heart attack risks. Drinking one or more diet sodas a day makes your chances of having a heart attack 43% higher than those that drink regular soda or none.1
  5. Hypertension is the leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Nearly 1 in 2 U.S. adults has hypertension, but only 1 in 4 have it under control. 2

Heart Healthy Lifestyle Choices

The American Heart Association recommends that to live a healthy lifestyle, you must:4

  • Eat Smart: Make healthy, delicious choices wherever and whenever you eat.
  • Add Color: Make life more colorful with fruits and vegetables.
  • Move More: Infuse more movement into your life for optimal health.
  • Be Well: Create balance, vitality and wellbeing through self-care.

Heart disease can be prevented in a lot of cases. If you live a heart-healthy lifestyle, you can decrease your risk for heart disease.

Tria Health Can Help

This month and always, Tria Health can help you understand your risks of heart disease and what you can do to take better care of your heart. Tria Health offers Chronic Condition Management through our Pharmacy Advocate Program. Heart Disease is one of the many chronic conditions that Tria Health targets. Clinical Pharmacists provide one-on-one telephonic counseling for members and act as their personal advocate to help them navigate through the health care system. Through reviewing a member’s medications and lifestyle habits, Tria Pharmacists can make recommendations that will help control their chronic conditions and help them feel better!

Questions?

Call the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742

Sources:

  1. AMERICAN HEART MONTH – February 2021 | National Today
  2. American Heart Month Toolkits 2021 | cdc.gov
  3. Heart Disease Causes and Risk Factors (healthline.com)
  4. Healthy for Good | American Heart Association

How to Reduce High Blood Pressure

Healthy Salad
Image Source: Anna Pelzer/Unsplash

High blood pressure is when your blood pressure, the force of blood flowing through your blood vessels, is consistently too high.1 People with high blood pressure typically exhibit no symptoms. If the condition is left untreated, the damage left on your circulatory system can significantly impact your chances of having a heart attack, stroke, or other heart threats. While there are risk factors you can’t control, there are many steps you can take to help prevent and manage high blood pressure.

Eat a Well-Balanced Diet2

A well-balanced diet is an essential tool in managing your blood pressure. It’s important to limit your sodium intake along with saturated/trans fats, red meat and sweets. It’s also important to limit your alcohol intake. With a healthy diet of fruits, veggies and whole grains, you can reduce your blood pressure and maintain a healthy weight. Click here to find a list of healthy, high blood pressure friendly recipes.

Get Moving

Physical activity has a lot of positive health benefits. Not only will it help manage your high blood pressure, but it will also help strengthen your heart and assist in maintaining a healthy weight. If you want to start exercising, there’s no need to immediately begin running marathons. Start out where you’re comfortable, any amount of exercise is better than none. Try mixing it up by taking different classes, this will help you stay interested and build the habit.

Take your Medications Properly

Lifestyle changes are not the only solutions to high blood pressure, there are many medication options that can assist you in improving your health. It’s very important to follow your doctor’s recommendations and taking your medications as prescribed.

Have any Medication Questions?

Reach out to the Tria Health Help Desk: 1.888.799.8742

 

Sources:

  1. https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/the-facts-about-high-blood-pressure
  2. https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/changes-you-can-make-to-manage-high-blood-pressure/managing-blood-pressure-with-a-heart-healthy-diet

Valsartan Recall

Recall

The FDA has recently released a voluntary recall of several drug products containing the active ingredient valsartan. These medications are primarily used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure. The FDA will continue to investigate this issue and provide additional information when it becomes available. The agency encourages patients and health care professionals to report any adverse reaction to the FDA’s MedWatch program.

Why is it being recalled?

The FDA identified a cancer-causing impurity within the recalled products based on laboratory test results. They believe the impurity is a result of the way the active substance was manufactured. Due to this, not all products containing valsartan are being recalled.

What products are recalled? 

Any updates will be included at the bottom of this article.

Medicine Company
Valsartan Major Pharmaceuticals
Valsartan Solco Healthcare
Valsartan Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd.
Valsartan/Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) Solco Healthcare
Valsartan/Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd.

Next steps you should take

  • Because valsartan is used in medicines to treat serious medical conditions, patients taking the recalled valsartan-containing medicines should continue taking their medicine until they have a replacement product.
  • To determine whether a specific product has been recalled, patients should look at the drug name and company name on the label of their prescription bottle. If the information is not on the bottle, patients should contact the pharmacy that dispensed the medicine.
  • If a patient is taking one of the recalled medicines listed below, they should follow the recall instructions provided by the specific company. This information will be posted to the FDA’s website.
  • Patients should also contact their health care professional (the pharmacist who dispensed the medication or doctor who prescribed the medication) if their medicine is included in this recall to discuss their treatment, which may include another valsartan product not affected by this recall or an alternative treatment option.

Need help?

Contact your Tria Health pharmacist today for additional assistance with the recall process: 1.888.799.8742

Source: https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm613532.htm

Updates:

Update [11/27/2018] – FDA alerts patients and health care professionals to Teva’s recall of valsartan products due to NDEA

Update [11/21/2018] – FDA alerts patients and health care professionals to Mylan’s recall of valsartan products due to NDEA

Update [10/24/2018] – FDA updates recalled valsartan-containing product information

Study shows medication adherence improves through health coaching

Working one-on-one with a medical professional may improve the rate at which chronic condition patients take their medications correctly, according to a study published earlier this month in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. After participating in health coaching for a year, medication rates among patients with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol had increased.

The study looked at patients between the ages of 18 and 75 who had uncontrolled Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol. The patients were split into two groups, the first receiving health coaching for 12 months and the second continuing with their normal care. At the end of the year, adherence reported by the health coaching group had improved significantly while adherence reported by the usual care group did not improve, and in some cases, worsened by the end of the study.

Patients who participated in the health coaching reporting reported a 23 percent increase in the number of patients who reported taking their medications exactly as prescribed for at least five of the last seven days. The group that had continued with their usual care reported a 5 percent decrease.

Increased patient knowledge, patient counseling and active patient participation are already known to improve medication adherence. Health coaches may have more time to spend with patients, and this may have impacted the participants’ engagement with their treatment and influenced their medication adherence. The health coaches also worked with patients on healthy lifestyle changes, which also may have impacted change.

The study cites statistics about the high cost to the U.S. healthcare system caused by medication nonadherence. About half of medications prescribed for chronic conditions aren’t used correctly, which contributes to more than $200 billion in avoidable costs to the health care system each year.

For more information about how Tria Health works to improve medication adherence among our patients, visit our website.