Report Reveals Trends and Tips to Improve Health for those with the Condition
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., July 3, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Late summer marks the beginning of a steady rise in blood sugar levels for people with diabetes, a U.S.-wide trend that lasts throughout the second half of the calendar year then drops precipitously at the start of the new year, report researchers from Livongo Health.
Issued today, Diabetes Across America: Seasons, Regions & More sheds light on how factors such as time of year, geography and gender may influence Americans living with diabetes. Livongo data scientists examined more than two years of data from its members and approximately 20 million glucose checks to spot trends, such as how average blood sugar levels vary across regions of the country, days of the week, and between men and women.
"Thirty million Americans live with diabetes -- a condition that isn't curable, but can be managed," says Dr. Jennifer Schneider, a Johns Hopkins and Stanford-trained physician, serving as Chief Medical Officer for Livongo. "This Insight Report aims to empower people with diabetes, their loved ones and their caregivers with information about previously hidden health trends and actions to address them."
- The Fourth of July Phenomenon: While the summer months in general have the lowest average blood sugar levels in comparison to the rest of the year, Fourth of July sparks a rise in blood sugar levels that pick up again in August and last through December.
- The Resolution Effect: Despite some evidence that demonstrate a majority of New Year's resolutions ultimately fail, data show that average blood sugar levels fall at the beginning of January and remain lower in comparison to the second half of the year.
- The Day of the Week Matters: The research shows the highest blood sugar values occur over the weekend. However, Monday also has relatively higher levels in comparison to the rest of the weekdays, and especially Thursday, which consistently has the lowest blood sugar levels of all the days of the week.
- Holidays Mirror Weekends: Holiday blood sugar spikes tend to be similar to those seen on the weekend. For example, although July 4, 2017, fell on a Tuesday, users' blood sugar levels resembled that of a weekend.
- The Gender Gap: Seasonality affects men and women with diabetes differently, with data documenting men have a higher spike in blood sugar levels than women during the end of the year. Men also have a higher average blood sugar spike over Thanksgiving versus women.
- Is Texas Really Healthier than California? Interesting (and a bit counter-intuitive) findings include geographic differences, specifically between California and Texas. While California's population has lower blood sugar values than Texas on average throughout the year, on July 4, California sees a larger spike in blood sugar levels than in Texas.
Keeping blood sugar levels consistently within range is important to avoid a myriad of health complications. Knowing these trends might allow people with diabetes to take preventive action.
"Knowing what factors tend to drive spikes in blood sugar levels -- and when and for how long they are likely to occur -- presents an opportunity for people with diabetes to make informed choices about where and when they need the support most," Dr. Schneider said. She advises people with diabetes consider actions including:
- Check blood sugar levels regularly: Diabetes management can be challenging, but consistent self-monitoring of blood sugar is an important part of any diabetes care-management plan to help drive optimal health decisions for people with the condition (not to mention research found that a lack of self-monitoring is a predictor for hospitalization for diabetes-related complications).
- Enjoy the holidays and plan ahead: People with diabetes can plan ahead and a caretaker, family member, or coach of someone with the condition can offer options to help them better manage their diabetes to make it a healthy holiday. When people with diabetes have access to a coach — or a Certified Diabetes Educator, such as those made available through the Livongo for Diabetes program — they have an ally in their disease management and a supportive, informed resource to help them make the best decisions for their health, Dr. Schneider said.
More information about Diabetes Across America: Seasons, Regions & More can be found here, including a video with Dr. Schneider explaining the analysis, and tips for people with diabetes, for family members, and for healthcare providers.
Diabetes Across America: Seasons, Regions & More marks the first Livongo Insight Report, a new ongoing series from Livongo Health that explores what improves and informs health in a tech and data-driven world, and how to apply those insights for better outcomes. The reports are intended to empower people with chronic health conditions with information and tips to get and stay healthy for a lifetime.
About Livongo Health
Livongo empowers people with chronic conditions to live better and healthier lives. We make it easier for people to stay healthy, starting with our diabetes prevention, and diabetes and hypertension offerings, by driving behavior change through the combination of consumer health technology, personalized recommendations, and real-time support at the point of impact. Powered by advanced data science, we create personalized experiences for our members, so they receive the right information, tools, and support, at the right time. Our approach is leading to better financial and clinical outcomes while creating a better experience for people with chronic conditions and their care team of family, friends, and medical professionals.
Livongo signature offerings include Livongo for Diabetes, Livongo for Hypertension, and Livongo DPP powered by Retrofit. Livongo's objective is to serve the whole person, addressing each of their chronic conditions on a single platform, creating a truly seamless experience. Using reinforcement learning, Livongo can understand the personal health narrative of each member and offer real-time recommendations that are tailored to each person's unique health experience. For more information, visit: www.livongo.com.
Kirk, J. K., & Stegner, J. (2010). Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose: Practical Aspects. Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, 4(2), 435–439.
PRLog ID: www.prlog.org/12716857