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News Release

Joslin Diabetes Center Can Provide National Perspective on The New York Times' "Bad Blood" Series on the Impact of Diabetes

Joslin experts featured in The New York Times' series on diabetes: Bad Blood.

BOSTON — January 11, 2006 — This week's New York Times' in-depth series, "Bad Blood," about the diabetes epidemic in New York City, is a compelling portrayal of New Yorkers struggling with the increased incidence of this devastating chronic disease. But the epidemic of diabetes is not limited to New York City.

"We at Joslin Diabetes Center applaud The New York Times for shedding light on a disease that has quietly grown to a national epidemic while health officials have focused resources and funding on other, often less prevalent, diseases," says C. Ronald Kahn, M.D., President of Joslin and the Mary K. Iacocca Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. "This series should be a wake-up call to Congress, to public health officials, and to anyone who has yet to realize the seriousness of the disease." 

Diabetes strikes everyone, young and old, rich and poor, but especially hits hard certain ethnic groups. This includes African Americans and Latinos (especially Mexican Americans and Puerto Ricans) who develop diabetes nearly twice as often as Caucasians. It also affects Native Americans and Asian Americans at high rates, even though the latter have little obesity. What's more, about one-third of the Americans with diabetes do not even know they have the disease and many have the disease for a decade or more before it's diagnosed.

Joslin Diabetes Center, with more than 100 years of experience researching and treating the disease and with more than 25 affiliates around the nation, can provide a national perspective on the disease that currently affects 21 million Americans and 41 million more who have pre-diabetes. Joslin physicians and researchers can discuss the impact on patients and their families — especially since many patients are affected by diabetes-related complications like heart disease long before they are diagnosed with diabetes.

Joslin experts, including Martin Abrahamson, M.D., Medical Director of Joslin, and James L. Rosenzweig, M.D., Director of Disease Management, are available to advise your viewers and readers on how to manage their diabetes to avoid the devastating complications so starkly presented in the "Bad Blood" series. Dr. Kahn can discuss the enormous looming impact on the healthcare system if the disease is not taken more seriously or with more urgency. Other experts who can comment on the disproportionate impact on ethnic groups include George King, M.D., Research Director, and William Hsu, M.D., both of Joslin's Asian American Diabetes Initiative, and Enrique Caballero, M.D., who heads Joslin's Latino Diabetes Initiative.