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Diabetes Advocates Urge Members of Congress to Support Creation of National Diabetes Coordinator
Date:3/11/2008

NBA Hall-of-Famer Dominique Wilkins Speaks on Behalf of People with

Diabetes During Congressional Briefing

WASHINGTON, March 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NBA Hall-of-Famer Dominique Wilkins of the Atlanta Hawks urged Members of Congress to support a bill that will develop a national strategy to reduce diabetes and its complications in the U.S. Wilkins was joined today at a briefing on Capitol Hill by a coalition of diabetes advocates that included Congressman Jay Inslee (D-WA) and members of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, American Association of Diabetes Educators and National Changing Diabetes(R) Program.

The National Diabetes Coordinator Act of 2008 (HR 4836), which amends the Public Health Service Act, would create the position of a National Diabetes Coordinator. This Coordinator would develop a national strategy to reduce the incidence of diabetes, develop a measurement tool to track progress, and provide leadership and coordination between government agencies and across public and private sectors to maximize impact. The bill was introduced in the House of Representatives by Representative Inslee on December 18, 2007.

"After I discovered I had diabetes, I made a personal commitment to motivate people to get screened and make positive lifestyle changes that can improve their health and their lives," said Dominique Wilkins, who discovered he had type-2 diabetes in 2000. "But without strong federal leadership on this issue, the human and economic costs will continue to mount."

An estimated 20.8 million Americans, or 7 percent of the population, have diabetes. Of the total, 6.2 million people remain undiagnosed. About 1.5 million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed each year in the United States(1). A study released by the National Changing Diabetes(R) Program in 2007 estimates that one out of every eight federal health dollars -- $80 billion -- is spent treating people with diabetes(2)
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SOURCE Novo Nordisk
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