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'Taking Action Together' Aims to Increase Screenings and Offer Education to People with Diabetes Living in the Inland Empire
Date:2/26/2009

California's Inland Empire residents have second highest rate of diabetes in the state

WOODLAND HILLS, Calif., Feb. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Anthem Blue Cross in California, Merck & Co. and the American Diabetes Association are "Taking Action Together" in an effort to battle diabetes in the Inland Empire, which has the second highest rate of diabetes in the state of California.

While more individuals with diabetes living in the Inland Empire are getting the important blood sugar (A1C) screenings than in years past, they continue to have the lowest blood sugar screening rates of the major metropolitan areas in California, according to Anthem data of privately insured customers for 2005 to 2007.

"We are delighted to team up with Merck & Co. and the American Diabetes Association on this worthwhile campaign. Through this program, our goal is to reduce the impact of this potentially deadly disease on our members, their families and the community," said Dr. Michael Belman, medical director of clinical quality and innovations for Anthem Blue Cross of California. "We specifically focused our efforts on the Inland Empire as there are some real opportunities to help large numbers of people to improve their lives through screenings and education on the steps they can take now and into the future to manage diabetes."

People with diabetes can suffer serious long-term problems, such as cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, blindness and amputation. Fortunately, diabetes can be managed, allowing people to live healthier lives and lowering their risks for these conditions.

A 2007 Anthem analysis of people in California who were enrolled in private insurance plans determined the following:

  • People with diabetes in the Inland Empire have dramatically increased control over their blood sugar in the past few years with 62 percent in 2005 having proble
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SOURCE Anthem Blue Cross and Merck & Co.
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