Ortiz calls for Passage of Preventative Diabetes Legislation

The growing numbers of Diabetes cases in New York State are a sign of a serious epidemic
March 8, 2010
Albany – Assemblyman Felix W. Ortiz applauded the report unveiled today from the New York State Diabetes and New York State Health Foundation concerning the growing numbers of diabetes cases in New York State in the past decade, especially the rise in cases of type 2 diabetes related to obesity and lifestyle. The report also highlighted that minorities are up to 6 times more likely to contract the disease. Diabetes has now become the 3rd highest cause of death among Blacks, the 4th highest cause of death among Hispanics and afflicts 16% of Asians within the United States.

Ortiz has been working tirelessly to ensure that Bills A-5701 and A-6949 are passed this 2010 session. The passage of these bills would address the growing issue of Diabetes in New York State as well as the inequality which exists in Diabetes treatment. One of the bills seeks to address the growing epidemic by establishing within the Department of Health a “State Diabetes Coordinator” to advise the commissioner on ways to improve quality of life, and save money for taxpayers and patients. This would ultimately save lives by reducing the rates of diabetes and the complications associated with the disease. Introducing prevention screening in children is another integral Bill A-5701. This will identify the disease at the earliest possible stage and help in its prevention. Many diabetics develop “pre-diabetic” symptoms before developing type-2 diabetes. A recent Center for Disease Control (CDC) study estimates that 1 in every 3 children born in the year 2000 will become diabetic in their lifetime. The odds are worse for African-Americans and Hispanic children who have a 1 in 2 chance of developing the disease.

Between 1994 and 2007 the number of cases of diabetes in New York State has doubled.

Numerous studies have shown that diabetes self-management education can improve the outcomes for people with diabetes. Ortiz said, “It is vital that these conditions are diagnosed early to prevent future implications and allow for possible prevention of the disease from growing into a pandemic in the years ahead.”