New Mexico Department of Health provides free programs to help prevent and manage diabetes and other chronic, health conditions through the Diabetes Prevention and Control Program.

NMDOH estimates more than 248,000 New Mexican adults have diabetes and more than 570,000 New Mexicans have prediabetes. Prediabetes means a person’s blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not yet high enough for a type II diabetes diagnosis. Prediabetes can lead to type II diabetes, a serious disease sometimes accompanied by other health conditions such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease.

Those at risk for type II diabetes present the following risk factors:

• Age 40 years or older

• Overweight

• Family history of type 2 diabetes

• High blood pressure

• Physically active fewer than three times a week

• A history of gestational diabetes

The National Diabetes Prevention Program offers education and coaching to people with prediabetes through a yearlong program designed to change their lifestyle and improve their health.

For people with other diagnosed chronic conditions, the Paths to Health NM: Tools for Healthier Living initiative offers a variety of evidence-based self-management programs in Spanish and English.

“Participants work with a trained lifestyle coach and share their experiences with others who have the same goals and challenges,” Acting Cabinet Health Secretary Billy Jimenez said. “Many who have participated in the program say they have more energy, less stress, and better checkups with their healthcare provider.”

These classes are free and designed for adults of all ages, helping individuals gain the confidence and motivation they need to take care of their health, as well as learn new skills to prevent diabetes or better manage their chronic health conditions, said Jimenez.

Due to the pandemic, classes are offered virtually around the state by trained individuals in community who are also available online, and by telephone.

For information about Paths to Health NM: Tools for a Healthier Living Programs, visit the website or call 850-0176 or 575-703-2343 during the hours 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Thursday.