HEALTH

Survey: Majority of Americans well aware of diabetes and corresponding risk factors

BY Michael Johnsen

MINNETONKA, Minn. — A majority of Americans recognize the threat diabetes poses to the nation’s health and have a solid understanding about the disease and its consequences, according to a new survey from UnitedHealth Group released Thursday. 

UnitedHealth Group’s national survey, conducted via telephone with more than 1,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, found that 92% of respondents knew there is a difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and 8-in-10 recognized that Type 2 diabetes is largely preventable. As many as 84% are familiar with leading diabetes risk factors including being overweight (80%), a family history of diabetes (76%), lack of exercise (74%), high blood pressure (59%), high cholesterol (58%) and being 45 years or older (48%).

However, 73% believe they will not necessarily get diabetes just because it runs in their family.

“People are taking notice that we face a public health crisis in the form of obesity, prediabetes and diabetes, so the opportunity now exists to turn awareness into actions like eating healthier, increasing physical activity, being tested for risk factors or joining prevention programs,” stated Deneen Vojta, SVP UnitedHealth Group and chief clinical officer of the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance. “Our national conversation around the diabetes epidemic has entered a new era; it’s time national actions do the same.” 

“By 2021, about 40 million American adults will have diabetes, and another 100 million will be diagnosed with prediabetes — at a cost of  $3.5 trillion over the next decade,” added Tom Beauregard, EVP UnitedHealth Group and executive director of the UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform and Modernization. “Given these figures, it’s clear there is a diabetes time bomb ticking in America, due in large part to the escalating obesity rates in our country."

The UnitedHealth Group pointed to evidence that early and aggressive intervention can reverse the course of diabetes for people with prediabetes and reduce its impact on people already diagnosed. Lifestyle changes and a 5% to 7% weight reduction can reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 58% in people with prediabetes, the insurer noted. 

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Bayer donates $150,000 to Hurricane Sandy relief

BY Michael Johnsen

PITTSBURGH — Bayer on Friday announced that it is providing monetary support for disaster relief efforts through donations totaling $150,000 from the Bayer USA Foundation. 

The American Red Cross and Save the Children will each receive $75,000. 

“When millions of people are affected by devastation in the form of natural disasters, it is important to be able to provide assistance to families and communities in a time of great need,” stated Tracy Spagnol, chairperson of the Bayer USA Foundation.

Bayer has approximately 7,000 employees along the East Coast in the states most impacted by Hurricane Sandy, the company noted.

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Abbott donates $1 million in Hurricane Sandy relief

BY Michael Johnsen

ABBOTT PARK, Ill. — Abbott and its foundation, the Abbott Fund, on Friday announced that $1 million in funding and product donations will be made to support relief efforts in response to Hurricane Sandy. The Abbott Fund grants will be provided to long-standing relief organization partners, including the American Red Cross, AmeriCares, Direct Relief International and World Vets. 

Abbott product donations have been made to Direct Relief International and Feeding America.

Abbott product donations were provided to food banks and free clinics in states along the East Coast, including New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Earlier this year, Abbott worked with Feeding America and Direct Relief International to strategically pre-position "disaster relief packs" containing nutritional and medical products in coastal communities at high risk of hurricanes, the company stated. Abbott donations for the packs include adult and pediatric nutritional products and rehydration solutions provided to food banks through Feeding America, and nutritional products, medicine and diabetes care products provided to free clinics through Direct Relief International. 

"Our thoughts are with the many people who have been affected by Hurricane Sandy," stated John Thomas, VP investor relations and public affairs for Abbott and president for the Abbott Fund. "Working together with trusted relief organizations, Abbott and the Abbott Fund are providing funding and products to help communities recover in the days and weeks ahead."

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