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Michigan Department of Community Health joins Diabetes Leadership Initiative to help growing number of people with diabetes
New program promotes early detection and management of serious complications associated with diabetes

Contact: Angela Minicuci 517-373-0860

For Immediate Release: September 7, 2012

Despite ongoing efforts to address the increasing rate of diabetes in the United States, the prevalence of the condition continues to rise. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are 25.8 million people diagnosed with diabetes in the U.S., and if the current trend continues, some experts estimate that as many as one in three adults could have the condition by 2050. The situation is no less dire in Michigan, where the prevalence of diabetes increased 15 percent from 2006 to 2010. In fact, as of 2010, Michigan had the fifteenth highest diabetes prevalence in the country with over one million of its approximately 9.9 million residents with diabetes.

In addition to these alarming statistics, many people with diabetes may not be aware of their increased risk for developing a number of health complications, including kidney disease, blindness, amputation and heart disease. For example, according to a 2008 survey from the National Diabetes Education Program, less than half of people with diabetes identified kidney disease as a serious health problem associated with the condition.

To address these issues, the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) has partnered with the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) on the Diabetes Leadership Initiative (DLI). The DLI is working with four states nationwide to promote early detection and management of diabetes complications through awareness activities and strategies designed to improve diabetes care. As part of the DLI, MDCH is working with Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, a large health system, and the Center for Family Health in Jackson, a federally qualified healthcare center, to focus on the importance of earlier identification of the kidney and eye complications associated with diabetes.


  • Serious and often fatal: An estimated 231,000 people in the United States die from diabetes and its complications - a number which is expected to double between 2005 and 2030. Diabetes and its complications can cause serious disability, loss of productivity and increased health care costs 
  • Complications can be delayed and/or prevented: Diabetes complications may be reduced through preventative care practices and by controlling glucose levels, blood pressure and blood lipids 
  • Education is key: A 2009 survey found that only 60 percent of people with diabetes in Michigan have been educated about the disease. Education is critical as more people seek recommended clinical exams and perform self-care activities as a result of diabetes education 
  • Resources are available: For tools and resources for people with diabetes, and to learn more about the work underway in Michigan, please visit: 

WHO: Dawn Crane, RN, MS, ACNS-BC, CDE and/or Anne Esdale, MPH, both of the Michigan Department of Community Health, are to discuss the prevalence of diabetes in Michigan, the DLI, as well as the steps people with diabetes can take to assist with reducing their risk for developing complications. Individual print, broadcast and online interviews can be scheduled by contacting Angela Minicuci at 517-373-0860 or

For more information about the DLI, please visit, a site sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Eli Lilly and Company.

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