American Diabetes Association to Speak About the Importance of the National Institutes of Health in the Fight to Stop Diabetes®

Alexandria,
September 15, 2011

With 105 million children and adults in America either living with, or at risk for developing diabetes, the American Diabetes Association will participate today in a Congressional briefing to highlight the central role that the National Institutes of Health (NIH), specifically the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), plays in spurring innovative new ways to address and ultimately stop the nation’s growing diabetes epidemic.

The briefing, “Advancing Discovery: The Role of NIH Research in Fighting Diabetes,” will be held in conjunction with the Ad-Hoc Group for Medical Research, a coalition of national organizations that support federal funding for the NIH, and co-sponsored by the Association.

Anastasia Albanese-O’Neill, an Association volunteer and mother of two, including her daughter Cassidy, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 16 months, will share her family’s experiences as participants in NIDDK clinical trials. The trials offer researchers valuable information about diabetes and help make the case for increased federal investment in NIDDK in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012. Albanese-O’Neill, who is from Gainesville, Florida, will be joined at the briefing by NIDDK Director Dr. Griffin Rodgers and diabetes researcher Dr. Rena Wing of Brown University.

The briefing comes just as Members of Congress are considering how to fund federal programs in FY 2012, including the NIDDK. One of the 27 institutes at the NIH, NIDDK is the primary federal agency that conducts research to find a cure for diabetes and improve diabetes care. Because of research supported by NIDDK, individuals with diabetes can take advantage of the latest advancements in treating and preventing the disease.

Nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes and one-fourth of those are unaware they have it. Another 79 million, or one in five Americans, have prediabetes, placing them at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes. A study by the Lewin Group found the total costs of diabetes, including undiagnosed diabetes, prediabetes, gestational diabetes, and related conditions in the United States was $218 billion in 2007.

“If left unaddressed, diabetes will overwhelm the healthcare system with tragic consequences,” said Anastasia Albanese-O’Neill. “To change this future, we need to increase our commitment to NIDDK in a way that reflects the burden diabetes poses both for us and for our children. My family has been honored to be a part of clinical trials that could one day lead to ensuring that families like mine can prevent other children from developing this devastating disease.”

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.