Diabetes Experts Respond to Report Showing One in Twelve Americans have Diabetes

Wednesday, June 25, 2008 5:29 pm EDT



JACKSONVILLE, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that the number of Americans with diabetes has risen to more than 24 million people, or roughly eight percent of the U.S. population. This data indicates, now more than ever, the growing importance of the management and prevention of diabetes.

Endocrinologists are the medical specialists in diabetes and other endocrine disorders. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) is the worlds largest group of clinical endocrinologists.

The recent report from the CDC presents a challenge for our country, AACE President Daniel S. Duick, MD, FACP, FACE, said. The incidence of both type 1 and especially type 2 diabetes is increasing dramatically. As the experts in both the prevention and treatment of diabetes, the role of the clinical endocrinologist must continue to grow to meet this challenge.

As diabetes prevalence reaches epidemic proportions, AACE has implemented a number of initiatives to help stop the epidemic through prevention, early detection, and management of the disease.

AACE Efforts to Manage Diabetes

In 2005, AACE issued the State of Diabetes report1, which revealed that two out of three Americans with type 2 diabetes were not in control of their blood sugar, failing to meet AACEs target A1c goal of 6.5% or less. A1c is a blood test that reflects the average blood sugar over a three-month period.

To help patients hit their target A1c level, AACE developed the Diabetes Passport2, a tool allowing patients to easily chart their progress over the course of several months. The passports also help patients track eye, and foot exams, as well as weight and blood pressure.

Last month, AACE stood with several other leading diabetes organizations to announce the National Diabetes Goal3, a campaign to help 45% of all Americans at risk for type 2 diabetes know their blood glucose levels and understand what actions to take by the year 2015.

Managing diabetes can be difficult under ideal conditions, but nearly impossible in the wake of a natural disaster. This year has been specifically difficult due to the large volume of disasters that have hit the U.S. and the world-at-large. To help ensure patients access to diabetes care goes uninterrupted, AACE worked to develop a Diabetes Disaster Plan4, a checklist of live-saving materials diabetes patients are encouraged to assemble before disaster strikes.

Minorities are another group heavily affected by diabetes. AACE has taken great efforts to reach out to the Latin and African American communities. To do so, AACE developed Journey for Control5 to educate these populations about the small changes, including food changes, that will lead to the improved self-management of diabetes.

AACE Efforts to Prevent Diabetes

AACE knows that it is not enough to effectively manage patients with diabetes. That is why the organization has been involved in several programs to prevent the onset of diabetes.

The Power of Prevention®6 is a grassroots initiative that gets endocrinologists into the classrooms of elementary school children to teach them the importance of physical activity and how to make good nutritional choices throughout their lives.

AACE is also sponsoring a Consensus Conference July 2123, 2008, in Washington, D.C., to discuss The Diagnosis and Management of Pre-Diabetes in the Continuum of Hyperglycemia where experts from around the world hope to answer the question: When do the risks of diabetes begin?

AACEs Efforts to Educate the Medical Community about Diabetes

AACEs expertise in the management and prevention of diabetes extends beyond the patient and to the medical community-at-large. New research is constantly published about the impacts of certain treatment plans or medications on the diabetes patient. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for patients and doctors alike to sift through these new reports.

In an effort to keep all doctors who treat diabetes as up to date as possible, AACE provides two resources every endocrinologist, internist, and primary care physician should utilize: The AACE Diabetes Guidelines7 and the AACE Diabetes Road Map8. The Guidelines are the most up to date and comprehensive guide to managing diabetes. The Road Map is an easy to use visual tool that demonstrates the most effective methods for treating patients no matter where they are on the treatment spectrum. In addition, AACE offers diabetes educational programs to primary care physicians and non-physician allied health professionals.

AACEs outreach beyond the endocrinologist community includes courses available for primary care physicians in several U.S. states. These courses are designed to bring together the latest knowledge in the management of diabetes and its co-morbid conditions, and to help physicians implement this knowledge into their clinical practice. AACE is currently planning to expand this course to 10-12 states within the next 12 months.

AACE also created the Inpatient Glycemic Control Resource Center9, an online community that provides a practical resource for diabetes health care teams for improving the care of inpatients with hyperglycemia. The Resource Center is categorized around 12 major categories related to successful evaluation and management of the inpatient with hyperglycemia, and it has specific tools available in each section.

The battle against diabetes is far from over. It will take major changes in personal lifestyle, nutrition, the healthcare system, government regulation, insurance companies, research, training, and education to curb the growth of the problem. For more information about the AACE initiatives to combat the diabetes epidemic, go to www.aace.com.

About AACE: http://www.aace.com/org/history.php

1 2005 State of Diabetes Campaign press release: http://media.aace.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=4633

2 Download the AACE Diabetes Passport: http://www.aace.com/resources/index.php#passport

3 National Diabetes Goal: http://media.aace.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=4753

4 AACE/Lilly Diabetes Disaster Plan: http://media.aace.com/article_display.cfm?instance_code=AACE&article_i d=4786 (Due to its length, this URL may need to be copied/pasted into your Internet browser's address field. Remove the extra space if one exists.)

5 Journey for Control website: http://www.journeyforcontrol.com/journey_for_control/journeyforcontrol /index.jsp (Due to its length, this URL may need to be copied/pasted into your Internet browser's address field. Remove the extra space if one exists.)

6 Power of Prevention® website: http://www.powerofprevention.com/

7 http://www.aace.com/pub/guidelines/

8 http://www.aace.com/pub/roadmap/

9 Inpatient Glycemic Control Resource Center: http://www.aace.com/resources/igcrc/


The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists
Bryan Campbell, 904-353-7878, ext. 122