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City Councilors Nancy White, RN, Charles Jones, and Ed DeFore Launch Medicare Diabetes Screening Project in Macon
Date:3/24/2009

Need Is Urgent; Among Seniors with Diabetes, Half Are Unaware; Medicare's Free Diabetes Screening Benefits Underutilized

MACON, Ga., March 24 /PRNewswire/ -- City Councilors Nancy White, RN, Charles Jones, and Ed DeFore, and other city and community leaders, today urged all Macon area seniors to learn more about their personal risk for diabetes, as they launched the Medicare Diabetes Screening Project (MDSP) in Macon before a crowd gathered in front of Macon City Hall. On a national level, the MDSP is co-chaired by the American Diabetes Association, the Health Care Leadership Council, and Novo Nordisk, and is supported by more than 20 organizations representing the interests of seniors and health care providers.

"Today, I am proud to announce the start of the Medicare Diabetes Screening Project in Macon," said Councilor White. "When diabetes is undiagnosed and untreated, it can be devastating, and new government statistics show that our senior citizens are especially vulnerable. That's why it is crucial that we create awareness of the benefits that Medicare offers for diabetes screening, and motivate our seniors to ask their health care providers about being tested for diabetes."

According to a study in the February 2009 issue of Diabetes Care, 32% of adults ages 65 and older have diabetes. What's more, almost half (46%) of those seniors with diabetes don't know they have it -- they have not been diagnosed.

In addition to those with diabetes, another 40% of adults ages 65 and older have pre-diabetes, putting them at very high risk of developing diabetes and heart disease, and it is likely that most of them are unaware of their status.

Since 2005, Medicare has offered benefits for diabetes screening, but usage of these benefits has been minimal. For people who are ages 65 and older and have one risk factor for diabetes, Medicare offers a free diabetes-screen
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SOURCE The Medicare Diabetes Screening Project
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