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Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Representing the 43rd District of California

Congresswoman Waters Introduces Minority Diabetes Initiative Act to Reduce Diabetes Disparities

September 27, 2019
Press Release

Congresswoman Waters Introduces Minority Diabetes Initiative Act to Reduce Diabetes Disparities

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), Chair of the Committee on Financial Services, introduced the Minority Diabetes Initiative Act (H.R. 4550) today.  This bill will establish an initiative to provide grants to physicians and community-based organizations for diabetes prevention, care and treatment programs in minority communities. The bill is cosponsored by 56 of the Congresswoman’s congressional colleagues and endorsed by the American Diabetes Association.

“Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, and it is having a severe impact on minority communities,” said Congresswoman Waters. “Diabetes can lead to serious and sometimes deadly complications, including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, nerve damage, and lower-limb amputations. Minorities with diabetes often lack access to quality health care and are more likely to suffer from complications and even die from diabetes. The Minority Diabetes Initiative Act will help reduce the incidence of diabetes among minorities and enable those affected to live healthy and productive lives.”  

The American Diabetes Association reports that 7.4 percent of non-Hispanic white Americans, 8.0 percent of Asian Americans, 12.1 percent of Hispanic Americans, 12.7 percent of African Americans, and 15.1 percent of American Indians/Alaska Natives have been diagnosed with diabetes.[1] 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calculated that compared to non-Hispanic whites, Hispanics are 40 percent more likely to die from diabetes;[2] African Americans are twice as likely to die from diabetes;[3] and American Indians/Alaska Natives are almost twice as likely to die from the disease.[4]

The Minority Diabetes Initiative Act will provide grants for a variety of diabetes-related health services, including public education on diabetes prevention and control, routine health care for diabetic patients, eye care, foot care and treatment for kidney disease and other complications of diabetes. 

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