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Independence Blue Cross Announces Its Second Year Sponsorship of Step Out: Walk to Fight Diabetes
Date:9/9/2009

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Independence Blue Cross (IBC) today announces its second year sponsorship of the American Diabetes Association's (ADA) Step Out: Walk to Fight Diabetes. The family-friendly, 5K walk is the ADA's signature fundraising event.

The number of diabetes cases nationwide increased by 90 percent over the past decade, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This has had a significant impact on the U.S. health system and its costs. In 2008 alone, the estimated direct and indirect cost of diagnosed diabetes was $174 billion. About a third of the people with this disease, or 5.7 million Americans, are not aware they have it, and another 57 million have pre-diabetes -- blood glucose levels that are higher than normal, but not yet in diabetic range. Eleven percent of people in Philadelphia have diabetes, and that's 3% higher than the national average.

"We are proud to serve as the presenting sponsor of Philadelphia's Step Out walk for its second year because so many people in the Philadelphia area have diabetes, including 130,000 of our members," said Joseph A. Frick, president and CEO of Independence Blue Cross. "We partner with the American Diabetes Association for Step Out to help our members, associates, and community get active, become healthier, and learn more about how common diabetes is and what each of us can do to reduce the risk we will become diabetic. That includes exercising, and walking in Step Out is a great start."

As an advocate for preventive care, IBC is the presenting sponsor of Step Out for the second year to convey a clear message: like many chronic conditions, diabetes is possible to better manage, control, and even prevent so that people live healthier lives and reduce the cost of health care. Respected national studies show that commitment to exercise and nutrition is vital for
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SOURCE Independence Blue Cross
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