Hhs Launches Diabetes Prevention Campaign To Reach High Risk Groups

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    HHS LAUNCHES DIABETES PREVENTION CAMPAIGN TO REACH HIGH
    RISK GROUPS

    WASHINGTON, DC - Today HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson and
    the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) launched the
    first national multicultural diabetes prevention campaign,
    "Small Steps. Big Rewards. Prevent type 2 Diabetes", to
    take action against the growing diabetes epidemic.

    "We need to act urgently to confront the epidemic of type 2
    diabetes that is threatening Americans, especially minority
    populations," said Secretary Thompson. "There are effective
    steps that people can take for themselves to hold off the
    progression of type 2 diabetes. We need to reach Americans
    with the words and pictures that they understand to help
    them promote and protect their good health."

    In response to the diabetes epidemic, HHS' NDEP is taking
    the lead on delivering the type 2 diabetes prevention
    message to high risk audiences through its campaign
    targeted to multicultural and older adult audiences. The
    campaign focuses on empowering people at high risk to make
    modest lifestyle changes that can prevent or delay the
    onset of type 2 diabetes. Campaign materials include
    motivational tip sheets for consumers as well as print and
    radio public service ads. Each set of materials is
    specifically tailored for one of the high risk groups:

    -- African Americans;

    -- Hispanic and Latino Americans;

    -- American Indians and Alaska Natives;

    -- Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders; and,

    -- Adults aged 60 and older.

    "Diabetes is a growing epidemic in our communities,
    especially for these high risk groups," said Dr. James R.
    Gavin III, chair of the National Diabetes Education Program
    and president of Morehouse School of Medicine. "If we are
    going to make a difference, we need to reach people where
    they live, work, and play, so we are partnering with
    community groups. We have consumer-friendly materials with
    practical advice in several languages. This campaign
    provides the tools to help those hardest hit by this
    growing epidemic to prevent the disease and its serious,
    deadly complications."

    The rapid increase in people who are at risk for diabetes,
    and people with diabetes, is closely tracking the nation's
    escalating obesity rates. Last month, the Centers for
    Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a study that
    showed that deaths due to obesity will soon overtake
    tobacco as the leading cause of death. Overweight and
    obesity are key risk factors for developing type 2
    diabetes.

    The campaign was launched during National Minority Health
    Month at Shiloh Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. to
    highlight community-based physical activity and nutrition
    education programs. To demonstrate how people at risk can
    prevent diabetes, the NDEP has formed the "Small Steps Big
    Rewards Team to Prevent Diabetes". The team is comprised of
    people from across the U.S. representing each of the high-
    risk populations. Team members are involved in local
    programs helping people at risk take small steps to prevent
    type 2 diabetes and will host launch events in their
    communities to kick off the campaign. The "Small Steps Big
    Rewards Team to Prevent Diabetes" members are Jose Cortez
    of Arizona; Carmencita Domingo of California; Christie
    Byars of Oklahoma; Rev. Sam Kitching of Florida; and
    Frenchy Risco of Pennsylvania.

    "People need to know if they have pre-diabetes or are at
    risk for developing type 2 diabetes," said Dr. Allen M.
    Spiegel, director of the National Institute of Diabetes and
    Digestive and Kidney Diseases. "Talk to your health care
    provider about your risk. By taking small steps today, you
    can achieve a big reward - delaying or preventing type 2
    diabetes."

    According to the National Diabetes Education Program,
    everyone over age 45 should consult with his or her health
    care provider about testing for pre-diabetes or diabetes.
    Those over 45 and overweight are strongly recommended for
    testing. Those who are younger than 45, overweight, and who
    have one or more of the other risk factors could be at a
    high risk of developing type 2 diabetes and should also
    consult their health care provider about testing. Risk
    factors for diabetes include:

    -- AGE: risk increases with age

    -- OVERWEIGHT: BMI (body mass index) 25 or higher (23 or
    higher if Asian American, 26 or higher if Pacific Islander)

    -- BLOOD PRESSURE: 140/90 mm/Hg or higher

    -- CHOLESTEROL: Abnormal lipid levels - HDL cholesterol
    less than 40mg/dL for men and less than 50 mg/dL for women;
    triglyceride level 250 mg/dL or higher

    -- FAMILY HISTORY OF DIABETES: having a parent, brother, or
    sister with diabetes

    -- ETHNICITY: African American, American Indian, Asian
    American, Pacific Islander, or Hispanic American/Latino
    heritage

    -- HISTORY OF GESTATIONAL DIABETES: or giving birth to a
    baby weighing more than 9 pounds

    -- INACTIVE LIFESTYLE: exercise fewer than three times a
    week

    For more information about the campaign, including tip
    sheets, tools to help people lose weight and track their
    progress, and more information about pre-diabetes, visit
    the NDEP website at <http://www.ndep.nih.gov>. To order
    free copies of the materials, call 1-800-438-5383.

    HHS' National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) is jointly
    sponsored by the National Institutes of Health's National
    Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and
    the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The program
    involves more than 200 public and private sector partners
    who work at the national, state, and local level.

    ##

    This NIH News Release is available online at:
    http://www.nih.gov/news/pr/apr2004/niddk-28.htm
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