SOURCE: American Diabetes Association

American Diabetes Association

January 12, 2011 15:50 ET

American Diabetes Association to Honor Senator Susan Collins for Efforts to Help Stop Diabetes

ALEXANDRIA, VA--(Marketwire - January 12, 2011) - The American Diabetes Association®, the nation's leading voluntary health organization in the fight to Stop Diabetes®, is pleased to honor Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) 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 am delighted to receive the 2010 Distinguished Leadership in Diabetes Policy Award from the American Diabetes Association," said Senator Collins. "As the founder and co-chair of the Senate Diabetes Caucus, I have learned a great deal about diabetes and the difficulties and heartbreak it causes for so many American families as they await a cure. There have been some encouraging breakthroughs in research, and we are on the threshold of a number of important new discoveries. I will continue to work with the Association and with my colleagues to find better treatments, a means of prevention, and ultimately a cure for diabetes."

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, 85,000 adults, or 7.3% of the adult population in Maine, had diagnosed diabetes. In 2006, diabetes-related medical expenses in Maine totaled nearly $543 million, and indirect expenses, such as lost productivity and premature mortality, totaled more than $233 million. 

"Senator Collins' unwavering commitment to stopping diabetes is helping to move the country closer to changing the future of diabetes," Chris Boynton, Executive Director, Eastern New England Area, American Diabetes Association. "With recent estimates projecting as many as one in three American adults living with diabetes by 2050, we must continue to work with Members of Congress to stop the deadly and costly consequences of diabetes."

The initiatives supported by Senator Collins, including leadership of the Congressional Diabetes Caucus, the Special Diabetes Program, the annual American Diabetes Month resolution, and efforts to address gestational diabetes, have lead to significant increases in the awareness of this growing epidemic and in the availability of diabetes prevention, research and treatment services in Maine and across the country. 

Additional awardees include Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN), Senator Al Franken (D-MN), 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), 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 on Friday, January 14, 2011 at 11:30 a.m. in Senator Collins' district office in Portland, Maine.

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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