Washington, DC–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–March 22, 2005–“Undiagnosed diabetes and its complications represent a public health crisis in the Hispanic community. On this day designated as National Diabetes Alert Day, we urge everyone to talk to their health provider and get tested if they are at risk for diabetes, “ said Dr. Jane L. Delgado, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health (the Alliance), the nation’s leading Hispanic health advocacy group.
To encourage screening and help prevent diabetes, Dr. Delgado reported that there are important new benefits available this year for Medicare beneficiaries. If you are at risk for diabetes and have Medicare Part B then you are now eligible for diabetes screening tests at no cost to you. More information on new diabetes screening and other preventive care benefits under Medicare is available in Spanish and English by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).
The National Institutes of Health estimates that 2 million Hispanics have diabetes and one in three don’t even know that they have diabetes putting them at risk for serious complications. According to Dr. Delgado, “the tragedy is that diabetes complications are preventable with early diagnosis and some simple steps such as making walking a part of your routine, changes in diet, and in some cases medication. But you have to ask your health provider if you are at risk and get tested for diabetes.”
In issuing its call for diabetes testing, the Alliance announced that its Su Familia National Hispanic Family Health Helpline (1-866-SU-FAMILIA or 1-866-783-2645) would provide callers with information on diabetes screening services in their area and provide callers with Spanish and English information on diabetes. Calls to 1-866-SU-FAMILIA are free and confidential and bilingual information specialists are available Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST). The Alliance also announced that to support National Diabetes Alert Day, bilingual health fact sheets are available on the Alliance’s award-winning web site (http://www.hispanichealth.org).
Dr. Delgado’s advice? “On National Diabetes Alert Day make sure that you get screened for diabetes. Small steps can lead to big rewards when it comes to preventing diabetes. Getting tested for diabetes is one of the most important steps you can take….para su salud.”
National Alliance for Hispanic Health
Eliana Loveluck,(202) 797-4340