SOURCE: American Diabetes Association

American Diabetes Association

April 27, 2012 15:16 ET

American Diabetes Association Applauds Introduction of the Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2012

Comprehensive Legislation Addresses the Disproportionate Toll Diabetes Takes on Minority Populations and Women

ALEXANDRIA, VA--(Marketwire - Apr 27, 2012) - The American Diabetes Association, the nation's leading voluntary health organization in the fight to Stop Diabetes®, applauds the introduction of the Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2012. Introduced by Sen. Daniel Akaka of Hawaii, this legislation aims to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities.

The Health Equity and Accountability Act is comprehensive health disparity legislation that includes provisions essential to ending disparities in diabetes prevention and care. The bill will provide for improved research, prevention, public education and health workforce training, all aiming to reduce the impact of diabetes on minority populations. It also seeks to reduce the incidence of gestational diabetes, the recurrence of the disease in subsequent pregnancies and the development of type 2 diabetes in women with a history of gestational diabetes through prevention and control programs.

"Diabetes disproportionately affects minority populations, who have a higher incidence of the disease and are often less able to obtain the care they need to manage their health," said Henry Foster, MD, Chair, African American Diabetes Action Council, American Diabetes Association. "The Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2012 will improve diabetes research, treatment and education in minority populations, and address the unique circumstances faced by minority populations and women. This bill is critical to our nation's fight to Stop Diabetes."

Diabetes affects nearly 26 million people in the U.S. and another 79 million Americans have prediabetes, placing them at higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes. While 7.1 percent of non-Hispanic white adults have been diagnosed with the disease, the statistics are much higher for minority populations in the U.S., including:

  • African-Americans: 12.6 percent of all African Americans ages 20 or older have been diagnosed with diabetes.
  • Hispanics: 11.8 percent of Hispanics ages 20 or older have been diagnosed with diabetes.
  • Asian Americans: 8.4 percent of Asian Americans ages 20 or older have been diagnosed with diabetes.
  • American Indians and Alaska Natives: 16.1 percent of Native American adults have been diagnosed with diabetes.

Gestational diabetes, occurring when a mother's blood glucose levels rise too high during pregnancy, also disproportionately impacts minority populations. Gestational diabetes affects up to 18 percent of all U.S. pregnancies and occurs frequently among African American, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic/Latina, and Pacific Islander women.

The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight to Stop Diabetes and its deadly consequences and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. Founded in 1940, our mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit www.diabetes.org. Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.

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