Fight Type 2 diabetes

According to a study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly one in three Americans will be diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes by the year 2050.

“That is just frightening,” said John Damonti, president of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation and vice president of corporate philanthropy for Bristol-Myers Squibb.

The pharmaceutical giant recently launched a program designed to address the problem. “Diabetes: Communities Uniting to Meet America’s Diabetes Challenge” is a five-year, $100 million initiative to help patients living with Type 2 diabetes manage the disease in their homes and communities, beyond the doors of their doctors’ offices.

Type 2 Diabetes, formerly called adult-onset diabetes, is the most common kind of the disease. It’s a very difficult disease to deal with, said Damonti.

“There is a stigma to it,” he said.

In Type 2 Diabetes, the body does not produce enough insulin, or is unable to properly use insulin, a hormone that helps the body use glucose for energy.

Complications from the disease include damage to small blood vessels in the eyes and kidneys, damage to nerves in the hands and feet, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke, poor healing and blindness. It can lead to amputation of fingers, toes and limbs.

At highest risk are African-American women — about one in 10 who are 20 years old or older has diabetes. African-American women also suffer high rates of at least two of diabetes’ most serious complications: amputation and kidney failure.

Damonti said many people who are diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in adulthood have difficulty adjusting to longtime behaviors such as eating the right food and exercising.

The Together on Diabetes program will draw upon the foundation’s deep experience supporting community-based support services that complement medical care and improve health outcomes. Damonti said the foundation will reach out to anyone in communities who can assist diabetics, including nurses, pharmacists and physicians.

This approach is intended to help remove barriers to diagnosis and care while helping patients understand their role in managing the disease and reducing the risks it can pose to their health.

“Type 2 diabetes is one of the United States’ greatest health challenges and disproportionately affects the poor, minorities and the elderly, many of whom are not receiving the care and support they need to improve their glycemic control,” said Lamberto Andreotti, CEO of Bristol-Myers Squibb.

News Source: New Jersey Loal News (nj.com)

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