Diabetes Advocacy Alliance to raise awareness of potential diabetes epidemic

WASHINGTON — With the number of Americans with diabetes set to rise to 50 million by 2025, educating people is one of the most important steps for heading off the epidemic.

The Diabetes Advocacy Alliance will sponsor a briefing on Capitol Hill Tuesday from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Rayburn House Office Building in Room 340-B to address the distinction between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes, sometimes called juvenile diabetes, is an autoimmune disorder that accounts for about 5% of those diagnosed, while Type 2 is connected to such lifestyle choices as diet and physical activity.

Other topics to be addressed will include the escalating prevalence of the disease and costs associated with it, as well as ways to help people with prediabetes delay or prevent a full-blown Type 2 diabetes diagnosis.

According to the Institute for Alternative Futures, the number of people with diabetes will increase by 64%, costing the healthcare system more than $500 billion. The Diabetes Advocacy Alliance is a group of 13 organizations that seek to change how policymakers and others perceive and approach the problem of diabetes in the United States. It includes the American Diabetes Association, the American Association of Diabetes Educators, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, Novo Nordisk and others.

“Diabetes is a huge and growing problem,” DAA co-chairwoman and AADE chief advocacy officer Martha Rinker said. “In many ways, diabetes is bigger than all of us. That’s one of the primary reasons why this broad coalition of organizations has come together, and one of the reasons we believe it is critical to inform policymakers about the human and economic impact.”

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