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State of Diabetes in Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh Business Group on,Health Releases Report

Good News: Percentage of Working Age People with Diabetes, Hospital and Professional Charges Lower Than Both PA and National Averages

PITTSBURGH, April 02, 2007 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Pittsburgh Business Group on Health (PBGH) announced today the release of a new report on the prevalence, costs and quality of care for people with Type 2 diabetes. The inaugural Pittsburgh Type 2 Diabetes Report for 2006 presents an overview of patient demographics, hospital and professional charges, utilization of clinical services and drug therapy for people with Type 2 Diabetes in Pittsburgh, other regional markets in Western Pennsylvania and Wheeling, West Virginia. The report also provides state and national benchmarks that can help employers and providers better identify opportunities to serve the needs of people with Type 2 diabetes.

"PBGH developed the Pittsburgh Type 2 Diabetes Report to serve as a useful resource for employers in their efforts to provide work-site wellness and care management programs to help employees manage chronic conditions like diabetes more effectively," said Christine Whipple, executive director of PBGH. "This report points out the good progress that has been made in the Pittsburgh region caring for people with diabetes," added Donna Frisch, Senior Manager, Corporate Benefits, H.J. Heinz Company and the PBGH President, "but it also spotlights where the need is to support people with Type 2 diabetes."

Prevalence of diabetes for prime working age versus seniors

According to this report, less than half (49.1 percent) the people with Type 2 Diabetes in 2005 in Pittsburgh were between the ages of 18 and 64 years old, the prime working ages for most Americans. This was significantly less than the PA average of 52.7% and the national average of 53.8 percent. For the population over age 64, however, the percentage of people with Type 2 Diabetes, 50.6%, is significantly higher than both the PA average of 46.9% and the national average of 43.8%

Charges for diabetes care in Pittsburgh is lower

Charges for the care of people with Type 2 diabetes are lower in Pittsburgh than the both the national and PA averages. The Report shows that the 2005 annual average for hospital inpatient charges for treating people with Type 2 Diabetes was $32,354, significantly lower than the national average of $39,401 that was significantly lower than the PA average of $54,795. The average annual office visit charges for treating people with Type 2 diabetes in Pittsburgh, $1,002, were also lower than the PA average of $1,289 and significantly lower than the national average of $3,266.

Quality of care shows positives

The quality of care indicators for patients with Type 2 diabetes, a major concern, pointed to positive signs for employers who want to ensure that their employees receive appropriate care. In addition to demographic and cost information, the Pittsburgh Type 2 Diabetes Report shows the percentage of people with diabetes receiving recommended services, such as for glucose, Hemoglobin A1C and cholesterol blood tests, as well as eye exams and urine tests for glucose. The percentages for these care indicators are higher in Pittsburgh compared to the national averages. For example, people with Type 2 diabetes in Pittsburgh who received a Hemoglobin A1C test (a key marker for managing diabetes) in 2005 was 77.0 percent compared to the national average of 74.1 percent. 87.2 percent of people with diabetes received the cholesterol test in Pittsburgh compared to the nationally average of 83.9 percent.

PBGH believes that the Pittsburgh Type 2 Diabetes Report for 2006 will help providers and employers continue to support efforts to manage the increasing prevalence, costs and quality of care provided to people with Type 2 diabetes. "PPG is committed to improving the health and wellness of our employees. This report provides bench mark information that enhances our ability to analyze our employees' health care needs and the most efficient means to address those needs. It can also be used for developing and supporting multi-stakeholder efforts to support people with diabetes both locally, across Pennsylvania and West Virginia," said Alberto Colombi, MD, Medical Director, PPG Industries.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 17 million Americans have diabetes, with an average of 1 million new cases being diagnosed each year in people over the age of 20. Nine out of ten of these patients have the Type 2 variety. The cost of diabetes in the US was approximately $132 billion in 2002, with $92 billion spent on medical services. The economic loss to the US economy due to higher rates of lost work time, disability and premature mortality associated with diabetes in the working population was approximately $40 billion in 2002.

About the Pittsburgh Type 2 Diabetes Report for 2006

The Pittsburgh Type 2 Diabetes Report for 2006 helps PBGH fulfill its commitment to its employer members and community health partners to promote and maintain a high quality, efficient and affordable health care delivery system. The report was produced with assistance from sanofi-aventis U.S. LLC. The complete report is available in electronic format on PBGH's website at http://www.pbghpa.com and may be downloaded free of charge.

About Pittsburgh Business Group on Health

Founded in 1981, the Pittsburgh Business Group on Health (PBGH) is a regional employer leadership organization representing 64 member organizations, more than 800,000 employees, dependents and retirees, and over $3 billion in health care expenditures. The coalition promotes education, collaboration, and innovation among its members to drive value and quality in health care and benefits. Programs and activities include raising awareness through community f orums, members' only meetings and an annual conference, group purchasing opportunities and benchmarking efforts through health plan evaluations, regional and national and member surveys. http://www.pbghpa.com.

About sanofi-aventis

Sanofi-aventis is one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies. Backed by a world-class R&D organization, sanofi-aventis is developing leading positions in seven major therapeutic areas: cardiovascular, thrombosis, oncology, metabolic diseases, central nervous system, internal medicine, and vaccines. Sanofi-aventis is listed in Paris and in New York . Sanofi-aventis U.S. LLC is headquartered in Bridgewater, New Jersey. http://www.sanofi-aventis.us or http://www.sanofi-aventis.com .

For more information, contact: Jason Snyder, WordWrite Communications at 412-894-7828.

Pittsburgh Business Group on Health

CONTACT: Jason Snyder of WordWrite Communications, +1-412-894-7828, forPittsburgh Business Group on Health

Web site: http://www.sanofi-aventis.us/http://www.sanofi-aventis.com/http://www.pbghpa.com/

Company News On-Call: http://www.prnewswire.com/comp/232375.html/

Ticker Symbol: (NYSE:SNY)

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