SOURCE: American Diabetes Association

American Diabetes Association

January 13, 2011 14:29 ET

American Diabetes Association to Honor Senator Al Franken for Efforts to Help Stop Diabetes

ALEXANDRIA, VA--(Marketwire - January 13, 2011) - The American Diabetes Association®, the nation's leading voluntary health organization in the fight to Stop Diabetes®, is pleased to honor Senator Al Franken (D-MN) with the 2010 Distinguished Leadership in Diabetes Policy Award. The award will be presented at an upcoming event held January 14, 2011.

The Distinguished Leadership in Diabetes Policy Award, established by the American Diabetes Association last year, is presented biennially at the end of each Congress to United States Senators and Representatives who have demonstrated leadership and commitment to stopping diabetes. Members of Congress who receive the award have supported the Association's education, awareness and public policy efforts, and have taken a vocal and active role through committee assignments and leadership positions to improve research, prevention and treatment resources for people with, and at risk for, diabetes. 

"I'm grateful for this honor, and I want to thank the American Diabetes Association for all the work that they do," said Senator Franken. "Some 57 million Americans, including 1.1 million Minnesotans, have prediabetes, and preventing these Americans from developing full-blown diabetes will save billions of dollars and prevent unnecessary suffering. That's why I was so proud last year that my bipartisan Diabetes Prevention Act was included in the health care reform bill that became law, and that's why I'll continue to fight to ensure that diabetes prevention gets the attention and resources it deserves."

In this country, nearly 24 million Americans are living with diabetes and an additional 57 million have prediabetes. The national price tag for diabetes is at an astounding $174 billion per year and that cost is estimated to almost triple in the next 25 years. Factoring in the additional costs of undiagnosed diabetes, prediabetes, and gestational diabetes brings the total cost of diabetes to $218 billion. In 2008, 229,000 adults, or 5.6% of the adult population in Minnesota, had diagnosed diabetes. In 2006, diabetes-related medical expenses in the state totaled $1.75 billion, and indirect expenses, such as lost productivity and premature mortality, totaled $929 million. 

"Senator Franken has demonstrated continued leadership in the fight to stop diabetes," Jenni Hargraves, Executive Director, Minnesota, American Diabetes Association. "With recent estimates projecting as many as one in three American adults living with diabetes by 2050, it is critical that we continue as an Association to work directly with Members of Congress to help move the country closer to ending this deadly epidemic."

The initiatives supported by Senator Franken, including the active role he played in the enactment of the Diabetes Prevention Act as a part of health care reform in 2010, have led to significant increases in the awareness of this growing epidemic and in the availability of diabetes prevention and treatment services in Minnesota and across the nation. 

Additional awardees include Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN), Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO), Representative Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Former Representatives Michael Castle (R-DE) and Zack Space (D-OH), and Former Senators Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) and Byron Dorgan (D-ND) also received the award. 

Media are invited to attend the award ceremony, which will be held Friday, January 14, 2011 at 2:45 p.m. in the Naegele Auditorium at the International Diabetes Center in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.

About The American Diabetes Association
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.

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