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Video: Academy Award(R) Winner Olympia Dukakis and Husband, Actor Louis Zorich, Encourage Older Adults to Ask.Screen.Know.
Date:5/18/2009

Duo Teams up with Novo Nordisk to Urge Eligible Adults Age 65 and Older to Take Advantage of Free Medicare Diabetes Screening Benefit

PRINCETON, N.J., May 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Academy Award(R) winner Olympia Dukakis and her husband, actor Louis Zorich, have partnered with Novo Nordisk, a world leader in diabetes care, to urge at-risk adults 65 and older to get screened for diabetes. The educational program called Ask.Screen.Know. launched today to encourage people enrolled in Medicare to ask their healthcare provider for a free diabetes screening and to know their blood sugar numbers and what actions to take.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090518/NY18220 )

To view the Multimedia News Release, go to: http://www.prnewswire.com/mnr/novo/37785/

Diabetes is an epidemic, and older adults are particularly affected. Approximately seven out of 10 adults age 65 and older have diabetes or pre-diabetes; and of those people with diabetes, almost half don't know it. The good news is that with early detection and treatment, the serious health consequences of diabetes can be prevented or delayed.

Since 2005, Medicare has offered free diabetes screening services to those at-risk for diabetes; however, utilization has been low and many older adults are undiagnosed.

For Olympia and Louis, involvement in this program hits close to home. In fact, the couple, who has been married for 47 years, were recently screened for diabetes and Louis learned he has type 2 diabetes.

"When we learned that less than 10 percent of people with Medicare have taken advantage of the diabetes screening benefit, we knew we had to do something," said Olympia Dukakis. "So we joined forces with Novo Nordisk to share our story -- we asked, got screened, and now know where our health stands relative to diabetes."

"Olympia and I both went in to be screened for diabetes, especially because it runs in my family," said Louis Zorich. "We realized the importance of taking care of our health and we want to be around for as long as possible for each other. Now that we know I have diabetes, we can manage the disease the right way, by exercising more and eating better."

Medicare offers free diabetes screening for enrolled adults 65 and older, who have at least one-risk factor for diabetes, including: family history of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity or overweight, and history of diabetes during pregnancy (women). There is no co-payment or deductible for those age 65 and older in Medicare who are eligible -- the screening is simple and free to the patient.

If left unmanaged, diabetes can lead to severe health complications, including blindness, kidney disease, foot amputations, heart disease and stroke.

"The risk for type 2 diabetes increases as you get older," says Nathaniel Clark, MD, RD, Senior Medical Advisor -- Diabetes, Novo Nordisk. "If you are at risk, simply asking your healthcare provider for a free Medicare diabetes screening is an important first step to better health. Once you know your blood sugar level, you can take steps to either prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes, or treat it effectively."

About Ask.Screen.Know.

Ask.Screen.Know., sponsored by Novo Nordisk, is a national educational program created to increase awareness and utilization of the Medicare diabetes screening benefit among both adults 65 and older and physicians. Through the program website, AskScreenKnow.com, individuals can obtain important information about the Medicare diabetes screening benefit, learn more about diabetes and pre-diabetes, access a health recording tool to keep track of blood sugar numbers and more.

About Novo Nordisk

Novo Nordisk is a healthcare company with an 86-year history of innovation and achievement in diabetes care. The company has the broadest diabetes product portfolio in the industry, including the most advanced products within the area of insulin delivery systems. In addition to diabetes care, Novo Nordisk has a leading position within areas such as hemostasis management, growth hormone therapy, and hormone therapy for women. Novo Nordisk's business is driven by the Triple Bottom Line: a commitment to social responsibility to employees and customers, environmental soundness and economic success. With headquarters in Denmark, Novo Nordisk employs more than 27,000 employees in 81 countries, and markets its products in 179 countries. Novo Nordisk's B shares are listed on the stock exchanges in Copenhagen and London. Its ADRs are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol 'NVO'. For global information, visit novonordisk.com; for United States information, visit novonordisk-us.com.


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SOURCE Novo Nordisk
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