The co-chairs of the Congressional Diabetes Caucus, U.S. Reps. Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Tom Reed (R-NY), introduced a resolution today recognizing November as American Diabetes Month and the need for the United States to further invest in research and increase public awareness to prevent more Americans from developing Type 2 diabetes.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 114 million Americans have either diabetes or prediabetes. It's been estimated that the United States spends more than $237 billion a year to treat patients with the disease, while the skyrocketing cost of insulin has made it nearly impossible for some patients to afford the life-sustaining medication they need.
"No one in this country should have to choose between putting food on their table or paying for the insulin that's literally keeping them alive," DeGette said. "We can and must do more to help treat, prevent -- and eventually cure -- this devastating disease. And that includes helping to raise more awareness throughout the country about who is most at risk and what they can to prevent developing Type 2 diabetes in the first place."
Americans who are overweight or over the age of 45 and have either high blood pressure, a family history of diabetes or lack regular physical exercise are the most at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
The resolution, also led by Susan DelBene (D-WA) Raul Ruiz (D-CA) and Mike Kelly (R-PA), seeks to raise awareness among those who are most at risk and encourage them to take steps now to try to prevent the development of Type 2 diabetes in the first place. It also recognizes the need for the United States to address systemic barriers to care that many vulnerable communities -- including those at a heightened risk of developing Type 2 diabetes -- continue to experience.