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Lautenberg, Isakson Introduce Legislation To Help Prevent Minority Diabetes
Bill Would Improve Prevention, Education and Care for Children and Families in Minority Communities
Lautenberg Press Office (202) 224-4858
Wednesday, May 07,
WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Senators Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) introduced a bill to help prevent diabetes from affecting children and families in minority communities. African-Americans, Hispanics, Asian and Pacific Islanders, American Indians and Alaskan Natives have higher rates of diabetes and are often less able to obtain the care they need to manage their disease.
“Diabetes remains an epidemic, especially in minority communities,” Sen. Lautenberg said. “This bill would help families in New Jersey and across the nation get the education and treatment they need to prevent diabetes from dictating their lives.”
“Of the 20 million Americans affected by diabetes, nearly 6 million are minorities,” Sen. Isakson said. “It is important to provide the education necessary to keep these individuals healthy through proper management of their disease.”
The Diabetes Prevention Access and Care (DPAC) Act would coordinate prevention, research, treatment and education efforts across several government agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Specifically the bill would require the:
- HHS to develop a plan to address diabetes among minority populations, expand programs for diabetes prevention and education, and increase the number of minority physicians focusing on diabetes care and treatment;
- NIH to examine the various factors that lead to diabetes in minority populations, including behavior, environment, and genetics; and
- CDC to better educate the public on the causes and effects of diabetes in minority populations and carry out culturally-specific diabetes health education.
The bill also would require the Indian Health Service to identify ethnically and culturally appropriate diabetes prevention and treatment services for the American Indian population.
Diabetes affects 20.8 million men, women and children in the United States, including approximately 5.8 million minorities. One in three children born in 2000 will develop diabetes in their lifetime, but the epidemic is growing even more rapidly in minority populations. Half of all Hispanic females born in 2000 will develop diabetes at some point in their lifetime.
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