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Savannah City Leaders Launch Medicare Diabetes Screening Project
Date:7/21/2009

SAVANNAH, Ga. July 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Senator Lester Jackson III (D - 2nd District), Diane Weems, MD, Chief Medical Officer of the Coastal Health District, Charles Powell, Executive Director, Community Cardiovascular Council, and Loretha Jenkins, Program Coordinator, Coastal Area Agency on Aging, gathered today to urge all Savannah area seniors to learn more about their personal risk for diabetes. Together, they launched the Medicare Diabetes Screening Project (MDSP) in Savannah before a crowd gathered at the W. W. Law Senior Center. 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.

"When diabetes is undiagnosed and untreated, it can be devastating, and new government statistics show that our senior citizens are especially vulnerable," said Sen. Jackson. "That's why I am proud to announce the start of the Medicare Diabetes Screening Project in Savannah."

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 Chatham County, it is estimated that approximately 4,600 seniors ages 65 and older have undiagnosed diabetes, and an additional 12,500 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 for diabetes screening, and motivate
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SOURCE The Medicare Diabetes Screening Project
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