November is recognized as American Diabetes Month to promote public awareness of prevention and treatment options, and enhance education of the risks of developing diabetes.
This month also recognizes the importance of decreasing the incidences of type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes through research, treatment, and prevention.
"Diabetes is a life-long condition that does not discriminate. This month recognizes the significant human toll of this disease, which affects people of every age, race, and nationality,” said Senator Susan Collins. “American Diabetes month serves as a critical reminder of how vital it is that we continue to support efforts that may ultimately lead to a cure.”
Approximately 30 million Americans are afflicted with the disease and another 84 million have pre-diabetes, a condition that is known to progress to diabetes without early intervention, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC estimates that if current trends continue, one in three Americans will have diabetes by 2050. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, and can lead to many other chronic diseases and conditions, such as blindness and kidney failure. As one of the most expensive chronic diseases, diabetes costs the American healthcare system billions of dollars each year. Overall, one in every ten healthcare dollars is spent on diabetes and its complications, and one in every three Medicare dollars is spent on the condition.
As co-chairs of the Senate Diabetes Caucus, Senators Collins (R-ME) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) have worked together to increase awareness of the threats posed by diabetes, invest in research, and improve access to treatment options.
Earlier this year, Senators Collins and Shaheen introduced the National Clinical Care Commission Act to establish a national commission of health care experts to advance diabetes care and prevention. This legislation was signed into law last night.