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City Leaders Launch Medicare Diabetes Screening Project in Augusta
Date:5/8/2009

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

AUGUSTA, Ga., May 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Senator Ed Tarver (D - District 22), Jeanette Cummings, Director, Central Savannah River Area Regional Development Center (CSRA RDC) Area Agency on Aging (AAA), and other city and community leaders today urged all Augusta area seniors to learn more about their personal risk for diabetes, as they launched the Medicare Diabetes Screening Project (MDSP) in Augusta before a crowd gathered at the Henry H. Brigham Senior Center on Golden Camp Road. 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 Augusta," said Sen. Tarver. "When diabetes is undiagnosed and untreated, it can be devastating, and new government statistics show that our senior citizens are especially vulnerable."

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. When these statistics are applied to Richmond County, it is estimated that approximately 3,400 seniors ages 65 and older have undiagnosed diabetes, and an additional 9,300 seniors ages 65 and older have pre-diabetes.

"These statistics show why it is crucial that we create awareness of the benefits that Medicare offers
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SOURCE Medicare Diabetes Screening Project
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