American Diabetes Association Applauds Introduction of H.R. 2954

Alexandria,
September 19, 2011

The American Diabetes Association, the nation’s leading voluntary health organization in the fight to Stop Diabetes®, applauds the Congressional Tri-Caucus for the introduction of H.R. 2954, the Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2011. Introduced by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), in coordination with Reps. Donna Christensen (D-VI) and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and on behalf of the Congressional Tri-Caucus, the legislation aims to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities.  The Congressional Tri-Caucus is comprised of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

H.R. 2954 is comprehensive health disparity legislation that includes provisions essential to reducing the impact of diabetes on minority populations through improved research, prevention, public education and health workforce training.  It also seeks to reduce the incidence of gestational diabetes and improve surveillance of women with a history of gestational diabetes, which can lead to future development of type 2 diabetes in both the mother and child.

“It’s important that we provide more effective treatment and education to those that are disproportionately affected by all forms of diabetes,” said Edward A. Chow, M.D., Chair, Asian Pacific American Diabetes Action Council, American Diabetes Association.  “This bill includes provisions critical to our nation’s fight to Stop Diabetes and addresses the unique circumstances faced by minority populations and women.”

Diabetes affects Americans of every race, gender and ethnicity.  Nearly 26 million people are living with diabetes in the U.S. and another 79 million Americans have prediabetes, putting them at higher risk for developing the disease. While 7.1 percent of non-Hispanic white adults have been diagnosed with the disease, the statistics are much higher for minority populations, including:

  • Non-Hispanic Black Americans: 12.6 percent of all African Americans ages 20 or older have been diagnosed with diabetes.
  • Hispanic/Latino Americans:  11.8 percent of Hispanic/Latinos ages 20 or older have been diagnosed with diabetes.
  • Asian Americans:  8.4 percent of Asian Americans ages 20 or older have been diagnosed with diabetes.
  • American Indians and Alaska Natives: 16.1 percent of the total adult population in the care of the Indian Health Service (IHS) has been diagnosed with diabetes.

Gestational diabetes also occurs frequently among African American, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic/Latina, and Pacific Islander women.  Gestational diabetes occurs when a mother’s blood glucose levels rise too high during pregnancy. It affects up to 18 percent of U.S. pregnancies.

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.