SOURCE: American Diabetes Association

American Diabetes Association

February 16, 2011 18:02 ET

Statement by John Griffin, Chair of the Board of the American Diabetes Association Regarding Proposed Cuts in House FY 2011 Funding Bill

Spending Cuts Will Jeopardize Efforts to Stop Diabetes®

ALEXANDRIA, VA--(Marketwire - February 16, 2011) - The American Diabetes Association is alarmed about the proposed cuts to federal health programs included in H.R.1, the Full-Year Continuing Resolution, 2011, and the threat that these cuts pose in the fight to stop diabetes. The Association supports fiscal responsibility, but not at the expense of America's health and well-being. The cuts would actually end up costing taxpayers millions of dollars to treat diabetes complications such as blindness, amputations and kidney dialysis.

Nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes and 79 million have prediabetes, placing them at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes. One in three children faces a life with diabetes if present trends continue. The total annual cost of diabetes and its complications, including undiagnosed diabetes, prediabetes and gestational diabetes was an estimated $218 billion in 2007, and will grow exponentially unless we act.

Given these sobering statistics, the proposed $1.6 billion in cuts in funding for the National Institutes of Health and the proposed $1.75 billion reduction in funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are an unacceptable response to the growing diabetes epidemic. 

The Association knows full well how these proposed cuts would affect vital diabetes research programs through the National Institutes of Health. For example, research studies funded through the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, which are essential to move us closer to a cure and better treatments for diabetes, will likely go unfunded. The proposed reductions threaten promising research regarding type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes that would allow individuals with the disease to live healthier, more productive lives.

We are equally alarmed about the potential effect that these proposed cuts may have on valuable diabetes prevention efforts at the Division of Diabetes Translation (DDT) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The DDT's ability to help people avoid diabetes and its devastating complications would be severely reduced. This leads to more hospitalizations and more emergency room visits, which will add to the already high cost of diabetes. Additionally, the DDT's efforts to prevent diabetes through the proven community-based National Diabetes Prevention Program will not move forward. Studies have shown that this program could save $190 billion over ten years.

The nearly 105 million Americans with diabetes or prediabetes are counting on these programs, and so is the American taxpayer. If left unaddressed, diabetes will overwhelm the healthcare system with tragic consequences, and the drastic cuts proposed in the House FY 2011 appropriations bill will be a major setback in the fight to Stop Diabetes.

About the 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. Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.

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