IDF Launches Action Plan

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International Diabetes Federation Launches Action Plan to Improve Standards of Diabetes Care in North America

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MONDAY, October 19th, 2009 (Business Wire/– The International Diabetes Federation North America and Caribbean Region (IDF NAC) today launched an action plan to improve the prevention, treatment and care of diabetes in the region. The plan calls for national implementation of United Nations Resolution on Diabetes 61/225 and highlights the need for improved collaboration between diabetes stakeholders and government to facilitate better
access to treatments and services.

According to new data released by IDF today, the North America and Caribbean Region has the highest comparative prevalence of diabetes among the IDF regions with over 37 million adults with diabetes. 26.8 million people with diabetes reside in the United States, 6.8 million in Mexico and 2.9 million in Canada. The United Nations Resolution has helped lay the foundations to develop national policies on the treatment and care of diabetes, but despite progress achieved by groups including the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and Canadian associations, the growing diabetes epidemic threatens to overwhelm healthcare systems unless urgent action is taken.

The IDF NAC action plan identifies five key elements to help enable regional implementation of the United Nations Resolution on Diabetes:

* collaboration between governments and stakeholders, such as groups
representing health professionals and those living with diabetes, to achieve new
legislation or improved implementation of existing legislation to tackle the
diabetes epidemic;
* improved treatment and care of diabetes to include integrated health centres,
diabetes management based on evidence-based goals and better access to
* prevention through awareness and education in local communities; and
* optimized professional education and communication
* increased coordination of diabetes associations

“While countries such as the US and Canada have already made significant steps to improve primary prevention measures to alleviate the growing burden of diabetes, these countries now have an important role to play in addressing diabetes in the region and developing practical actions to ensure that standards of care are regionally adopted,” said Lurline Less, Chair of IDF NAC.

The launch of the plan follows a meeting of IDF NAC member associations, including the ADA, the Diabète Québec and the Canadian Diabetes Association, to review progress on tackling diabetes in the region and to prioritize the implementation of national programs.

The NAC action plan identifies the improvement in patient outcomes which can be achieved with collaboration among the country associations so that countries with a well-developed diabetes infrastructure, can share resources and best practice with their neighboring countries.

International Diabetes Federation

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) is the global advocate for people with diabetes worldwide. It represents over 200 diabetes associations in more than 160 countries. Its mission is to promote diabetes care, prevention and a cure worldwide. The International Diabetes Federation is an NGO in official
relations with the World Health Organization and an associated NGO with the United Nations Department of Public Information. The International Diabetes Federation leads the World Diabetes Day campaign. Additional information is available at

UN Resolution

The UN recognition of World Diabetes Day follows the passing of Resolution 61/225, the World Diabetes Day Resolution, in December 2006. The landmark resolution was the first goal of an ambitious campaign led by IDF which recognizes diabetes as a chronic, debilitating and costly disease associated
with major complications that pose severe risks for families and countries throughout the world. The UN has thrown its support behind World Diabetes Day and encourages countries to act now. To mark this special event, individuals are encouraged to wear the diabetes pin, which incorporates a blue circle – the
global symbol for diabetes.

About Diabetes

Each year 7 million people develop diabetes and the most dramatic increases in type 2 diabetes have occurred in populations where there have been rapid and major changes in lifestyle, demonstrating the important role played by lifestyle factors and the potential for reversing the global epidemic. A person with type 2 diabetes is 2 – 4 times more likely to get cardiovascular disease (CVD), and 80% of people with diabetes will die from it. Premature mortality caused by diabetes results in an estimated 12 to 14 years of life lost. A person with diabetes incurs medical costs that are two to five times higher than those of a person without diabetes, and the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that up to 15% of annual health budgets are spent on diabetes-related illnesses. There is conclusive evidence that good control of blood glucose levels and management of high blood pressure and aspects of the lipid profile (blood fats) can slow the progression to or of type 2 diabetes, and substantially reduce the risk of developing complications (such as cardiovascular, eye and kidney disease) in people with diabetes.