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Metro Brief: Diabetes education classes help residents manage needs, reduce complications

Montgomery County

On March 5, 2012

County residents who want to learn how to manage their diabetes are invited to attend free monthly diabetes education classes at various locations throughout the county starting this month.  

Residents are also invited to join the Diabetes Dining Club at locations in Gaithersburg and Rockville for monthly dinners that combine a healthy meal, physical activity and a chance to socialize while learning about diabetes management.  A new African immigrant diabetes dining club in Silver Spring is also beginning to meet the needs of African immigrants who now make up nearly one third of the diabetes education class population.
The Diabetes Education Program and the Diabetes Dining Club are designed to reduce the rate of diabetes and diabetes complications in the African-American community. African Americans comprise 17 percent of the county's population but represent 42 percent of the hospitalizations related to diabetes.
Diabetes does not kill, but high blood sugar does. Class participants often come with limited knowledge about managing blood sugar and the lack of knowledge can have dangerous consequences.
The classes are accredited by the American Association of Diabetes Educators and meet three hours each week for four weeks. Classes are designed for those with diabetes, pre diabetes and those trying to prevent acquiring diabetes. Past participants have shown increased confidence in managing blood sugar, increased blood sugar testing, increased days of physical activity; increased consumption of fruits and vegetables and reduced weight and average blood sugar levels.
The programs are sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services' African American Health Program. To register for any of the programs, go to or call Diane Herron at (301) 421-5767.

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