PRC research highlights critical health issue for Montana collaborative

Results of a recent Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) conducted by Professional Research Consultants, Inc., (PRC) have prompted health officials in southwestern Montana to urge residents to monitor their blood pressure and blood sugar levels. PRC research indicates that the number of diagnosed cases of diabetes has nearly doubled over the past three years.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports that the PRC assessment, which was conducted through a collaborative partnership, found that nearly one in 10 adults (9.5 percent) have now been diagnosed with diabetes, compared to 4.8 percent in 2014 and 4.1 percent in 2011. An additional 6 percent of adults have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes. Matt Kelley, Gallatin County’s health officer, speculates that an even higher percent of the population may have diabetes, due to the fact many may not know they are affected. The health collaborative stretches across Gallatin, Madison, and Park counties and includes Bozeman Health, the Gallatin City-County Health Department, and Community Health Partners.

In the 2015 PRC National Health survey, 14.5 percent of respondents reported having been diagnosed with diabetes. The survey noted that an additional 6.7 percent of respondents had been labeled “pre-diabetic.”

One potential reason cited for the increase in diagnosed cases of the disease in southwestern Montana is the area’s increased access to healthcare coverage. Only 12 percent of the population did not have health insurance in 2017, while 22 percent went without coverage in 2011. 

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