Confirmed victory

Diabetes Healthcare

This petition made change with 91 supporters!

Dear Medicare,

It is very easy for you to sit back in your office and say "NO" because you don't have to stay awake all night long checking your blood sugars every hour which have been extremely out of control over the past 8 years. I keep a very strict record of my blood sugar testing, 10-12 times a day; my numbers can range from the 20's to over 600 in a space of 2 hours. Every second of my life I need to make sure my blood sugars are not to high or to low and I am forced to stay awake all night long. What scare's us is what these high and low blood sugar levels are doing to my vision kidneys and heart.

Sincerely yours,

Jill Whitcomb

Did you know that diabetes is one of Americans' leading killers? The Mayo Clinic estimated 180,000 people die each year directly due to diabetes.  It’s 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.

 Data from the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet (released Jan. 26, 2011)

Total prevalence of diabetes

Total: 25.8 million children and adults in the United States—8.3% of the population—have diabetes.

Diagnosed: 18.8 million people

Undiagnosed: 7.0 million people

Prediabetes: 79 million people*

New Cases: 1.9 million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed in people aged 20 years and older in 2010.

* In contrast to the 2007 National Diabetes Fact Sheet, which used fasting glucose data to estimate undiagnosed diabetes and prediabetes, the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet uses both fasting glucose and A1C levels to derive estimates for undiagnosed diabetes and prediabetes. These tests were chosen because they are most frequently used in clinical practice.

Under 20 years of age

•                215,000, or 0.26% of all people in this age group have diabetes

•                About 1 in every 400 children and adolescents has diabetes

Age 20 years or older

•                25.6 million, or 11.3% of all people in this age group have diabetes

Age 65 years or older

•                10.9 million, or 26.9% of all people in this age group have diabetes


•                13.0 million, or 11.8% of all men aged 20 years or older have diabetes


•                12.6 million, or 10.8% of all women aged 20 years or older have diabetes

Race and ethnic differences in prevalence of diagnosed diabetes

After adjusting for population age differences, 2007-2009 national survey data for people diagnosed with diabetes, aged 20 years or older include the following prevalence by race/ethnicity:

•                7.1% of non-Hispanic whites

•                8.4% of Asian Americans

•                12.6% of non-Hispanic blacks

•                11.8% of Hispanics

Among Hispanics rates were:

•                7.6% for Cubans

•                13.3% for Mexican Americans

•                13.8% for Puerto Ricans.

Morbidity and Mortality

•                In 2007, diabetes was listed as the underlying cause on 71,382 death certificates and was listed as a contributing factor on an additional 160,022 death certificates. This means that diabetes contributed to a total of 231,404 deaths.


Heart disease and stroke

•                In 2004, heart disease was noted on 68% of diabetes-related death certificates among people aged 65 years or older.

•                In 2004, stroke was noted on 16% of diabetes-related death certificates among people aged 65 years or older.

•                Adults with diabetes have heart disease death rates about 2 to 4 times higher than adults without diabetes.

•                The risk for stroke is 2 to 4 times higher among people with diabetes.

High blood pressure

•                In 2005-2008, of adults aged 20 years or older with self-reported diabetes, 67% had blood pressure greater than or equal to 140/90 mmHg or used prescription medications for hypertension.


•                Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults aged 20–74 years.

•                In 2005-2008, 4.2 million (28.5%) people with diabetes aged 40 years or older had diabetic retinopathy, and of these, almost 0.7 million (4.4% of those with diabetes) had advanced diabetic retinopathy that could lead to severe vision loss.

Kidney disease

•                Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, accounting for 44% of new cases in 2008.

•                In 2008, 48,374 people with diabetes began treatment for end-stage kidney disease in the United States.

•                In 2008, a total of 202,290 people with end-stage kidney disease due to diabetes were living on chronic dialysis or with a kidney transplant in the United States.

Nervous system disease (Neuropathy)

•                About 60% to 70% of people with diabetes have mild to severe forms of nervous system damage.


•                More than 60% of nontraumatic lower-limb amputations occur in people with diabetes.

•                In 2006, about 65,700 nontraumatic lower-limb amputations were performed in people with diabetes.

Cost of Diabetes

•                $174 billion: Total costs of diagnosed diabetes in the United States in 2007

•                $116 billion for direct medical costs

•                $58 billion for indirect costs (disability, work loss, premature mortality)

After adjusting for population age and sex differences, average medical expenditures among people with diagnosed diabetes were 2.3 times higher than what expenditures would be in the absence of diabetes.

The national cost of diabetes data and provides estimates at the state and congressional district level in the United States in 2007 to $218 billion.

•                $18 billion for people with undiagnosed diabetes

•                $25 billion for American adults with prediabetes

•                $623 million for gestational diabetes

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