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Pennsylvanians May Donate Part of Tax Refund to Support Juvenile Diabetes Research

HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A simple check-off option on Pennsylvania's income tax return allows filers to contribute a portion of their tax refund to support research for juvenile diabetes, more commonly known as Type 1 diabetes, the state Health Department said today.

Type 1 diabetes makes children dependent on injected or pumped insulin for life. Complications can include damage to the eyes, kidneys, cardiovascular system, nerves and/or blood vessels. The disease affects as many as 3 million American children.

"Each year more than 15,000 children are diagnosed with diabetes in the United States - that's an average of more than 40 children per day," said Secretary of Health Everette James. "Research must continue so that we can help young people effectively manage their diabetes and enjoy active, healthy lives."

Type 1 diabetes, previously known as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) or juvenile-onset diabetes, results when the immune system destroys the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas that regulates blood glucose. The pancreas no longer produces insulin, the hormone needed to convert sugar (glucose), starches and other foods into energy needed for living. Although the disease can be diagnosed at any age, it is most often diagnosed in children, adolescents and young adults. The causes of Type 1 diabetes are unknown, and there is currently no way to prevent or cure it.

The Juvenile Diabetes Cure Research Tax Check-Off Program funds research grants focusing on restoring normal blood levels, preventing and reversing complications of the disease and/or on preventing juvenile diabetes.

This year, the Pennsylvania State University's College of Medicine received a $100,000 grant to conduct vision impairment diabetic retinopathy research for patients with Type 1 diabetes.

The research funds are collected by the Department of Revenue. Grants are awarded every two years through the Department of Health's Diabetes Prevention and Control Program.

Contributions can be made by indicating a donation amount on state tax returns. Individuals can also send donations to the state Department of Health's Bureau of Administrative and Financial Services, Division of Budget, 625 Forster St., Health and Welfare Bldg., Harrisburg, PA 17120. Make checks payable to the Juvenile (Type 1) Diabetes Cure Research Fund.

For more information about the Juvenile Diabetes Cure Research Tax Check-Off Program or to learn more about diabetes, visit

    CONTACT: Stacy Kriedeman
    (717) 787-1783

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Health
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