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American Diabetes Association Applauds the One-Year Extension of the Special Diabetes Program

ALEXANDRIA, VA -- (Marketwired) -- 03/31/14 -- The American Diabetes Association (Association) applauds the one-year extension of the Special Diabetes Program (SDP), approved by Congress today. The federal funding for this essential program was set to expire on September 30, 2014, but the inclusion of SDP as part of the fix to the Sustainable Growth Rate has ensured the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) and the Special Diabetes Programs for Type 1 Diabetes (SDP-Type1) will continue through September 2015 with an additional $300 million in funding.

SDPI provides prevention, education and treatment programs for the American Indian and Alaskan Native community. At nearly 16.1 percent, American Indians and Alaska Natives have the highest age-adjusted prevalence of diabetes among all U.S. racial and ethnic groups. The vital programming the SDPI provides, contributes to the overall reduction of the deadly diabetes complications that disproportionately affect this population.

"The action taken by Congress to extend the Special Diabetes Program is a critical victory in our ongoing fight to Stop Diabetes®," said Shondra McCage, BS, MPH, CHES, Chair, Awakening the Spirit program, American Diabetes Association. "Since 1997, the Special Diabetes Program for Indians has made a significant impact of the American Indian and Alaska Native communities, by providing funding for programs that offer prevention and treatment options that meet the specific needs of this population."

The Special Diabetes Programs for Type 1 Diabetes addresses the need for increased type 1 diabetes research. SDP-Type1 basic and clinical research has demonstrated progress in delaying the full onset of type 1 diabetes in some participants. The continued support for this program by Congress will lead to a better understanding of the genetic and environmental causes of the disease that will help prevent, treat and reverse some of the long-term complications associated with type 1 diabetes.

"The American Diabetes Association applauds Congress for their support of the Special Diabetes Program," said Gina Gavlak, RN, BSN, Chair, National Advocacy Committee, American Diabetes Association. "Both SDP-Type 1 and SDPI provide crucial funding for research trials that brings us closer to a cure for this deadly epidemic, and supports essential studies that positively impact the lives of people living with diabetes.

Each year, both type 1 and type 2 diabetes take a devastating toll on the physical, emotional and fiscal health of our nation. Nearly 26 million adults and children are living with diabetes in the U.S. and another 79 million have prediabetes, placing them at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. By extending the Special Diabetes Program, Congress has afforded access to essential research, treatment and prevention programs that improve the lives of the millions of people living with diabetes, and those at risk.

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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