Diabetes is one of America's leading killers and the number one cause of kidney failure, non-traumatic lower limb amputations, and new cases of blindness among adults in the US. And the epidemic is growing quickly -- if we don't act soon, one in three Americans will have diabetes by 2050.
If we hope to stop the diabetes epidemic, we must advance research, support prevention programs and fight against discrimination.
Let your Members of Congress know that stopping diabetes is one of your top priorities -- and it should be one of theirs, too.
As your constituent, I stand with the American Diabetes Association in asking you to support funding for critical diabetes research and prevention programs. Programs like those at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are essential to fighting diabetes and bringing down the growing costs of diabetes and its complications.
[Your comments will be added here]
The diabetes epidemic in our country is on the rise. Already, nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes and 79 million more have prediabetes. If we don't act, 1 in 3 Americans will have diabetes by 2050. The total cost of diabetes and its complications, including undiagnosed diabetes, prediabetes and gestational diabetes, was an estimated $218 billion in 2007. Those costs will only continue to grow if we don't invest in stopping diabetes.
Diabetes programs help communities by providing money for diabetes-specific research that lead to better treatments for diabetes and its complications -- and move us closer to a cure. They also provide the resources to help translate that science into practice in such a way that can be used in local communities. These results have led to healthier lives for the people reached by these vital programs.
Given the epidemic proportions of diabetes, this country cannot afford to stop the promising research being done to prevent, treat and move us closer to a cure for diabetes. Congress should invest in cutting-edge research supported by federally funded programs to find a cure and better treatments for type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. In addition, funding prevention programs not only allows communities across the country to join in a proven effort to stop diabetes, it could save our country billions of dollars over the next decade.
Again, I hope you will demonstrate your support for your constituents with diabetes by supporting funding for vital diabetes research and prevention programs at the CDC and NIH. With mortality and prevalence increasing at an alarming rate, the diabetes epidemic demands immediate attention.
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