Cigna Social Media Campaign Puts Focus on Preventing Diabetes

The effort aims to prevent diabetes by urging Americans to get annual checkups and know 4 key numbers: BMI, blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol.

Managed care giant Cigna has launched an awareness campaign to prevent diabetes, which will encourage Americans to get annual checkups. During the campaign, Cigna will donate $1 to the American Diabetes Association—up to $100,000—each time the Cigna campaign badge is shared on social media through March 31, 2016.

Cigna’s announcement said Americans can join the campaign by using the hashtags #StopDiabetes and #CheckupsCount.

While Cigna’s announcement did not mention it, preventive care is part of an important strategy to combat diabetes announced earlier this year by the American Medical Association and the CDC. The public health agency and the nation’s largest professional association of doctors launched “Prevent Diabetes STAT,” an effort to get more Americans screened for prediabetes, so that doctors could help their patients take steps through nutrition, exercise, and therapy to stop conditions from progressing to type 2 diabetes.

An estimated 89 million Americans have prediabetes, but the vast majority do not know they have it. About 29 million Americans have diabetes, and most of those have type 2 disease. Cigna is promoting annual checkups as an important tool for preventing, delaying, or managing diabetes, and for establishing a baseline that physicians can use for monitoring health.

According to Cigna’s announcement of the campaign, CDC estimates that Americans use preventive care at half the recommended rates. Cigna’s goal is to encourage check-ups to help save 100,000 lives a year, which is the number that the CDC estimates would be saved if everyone received his or her recommended preventive care.

While most people know their height and weight, the campaign announcement said there are 4 key numbers people should really know to manage their health: body mass index or BMI, cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar. Not knowing these numbers can cost a person $3000 in unnecessary out-of-pocket costs, according to the campaign announcement.