American Diabetes Association Applauds Two-Year Re-Authorization of Special Diabetes Program

Alexandria,
December 9, 2010

The American Diabetes Association®, the nation’s leading voluntary health organization in the fight to Stop Diabetes®, praises Congress for reauthorizing the Special Diabetes Program.  The renewal, which was part of the Medicare and Medicaid Extenders Act of 2010, will ensure the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) and the Special Diabetes Programs for Type 1 Diabetes (SDP-Type1) continue through September 2013.  The measure will provide $150 million in funding per year to each program. Nearly 24 million Americans are living with diabetes and another 57 million have prediabetes. Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report stating that if current trends continue, one in three American adults will have diabetes by the year 2050. Diabetes is among the leading causes of death by disease in the United States.  It is a leading cause of heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, and amputation.

SDPI provides prevention, education and treatment programs in Native American communities. American Indians and Alaska Natives have the highest age-adjusted prevalence of diabetes among all U.S. racial and ethnic groups, where diabetes is four to eight times more common than in the general population. Studies have demonstrated that SDPI’s prevention and treatment efforts have contributed to significant reductions in diabetes complications in these targeted populations.

"We applaud the extension of the Special Diabetes Programs," said Gale Marshall, Chair, American Diabetes Association’s Awakening the Spirit Native American initiative. "The Special Diabetes Program for Indians provides for more than 450 community-directed programs, allowing local tribes and health programs to set priorities that meet their needs, including prevention activities or treatment. Because of these education and treatment programs, the American Indian and Alaskan Native communities have stories of hope and progress in facing the battle against diabetes." 

The Special Diabetes Programs for Type 1 Diabetes provides funding for groundbreaking type 1 diabetes research. Clinical research supported by this program has demonstrated tangible results – from delaying the full onset of type 1 diabetes in newly diagnosed patients to gaining insight on the underlying causes of diabetes and halting or reversing costly complications such as diabetic eye disease.

"The Special Diabetes Programs for Type 1 Diabetes is a vital federal effort that is bringing us closer to a cure for this epidemic," said Janel Wright, National Chair, Advocacy Committee, American Diabetes Association. "This cost-effective program provides crucial funding for research and results in real advances for people living with type 1 diabetes."

The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight to Stop Diabetes and its deadly consequences and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. Founded in 1940, our mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.

For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (800-342-2383) or visit www.diabetes.org. Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.