WASHINGTON, D.C.–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–November 14, 2002–More than two dozen medical organizations and national political leaders today urged the 17 million Americans with diabetes to reduce the disease’s enormous human and financial toll by learning a little-known but vital number: A1C.
Doctors consider routine monitoring of a person’s A1C the “standard” for measuring blood sugar, or glucose, control over a two-month period. Extensive clinical research shows that holding A1C levels under 7 percent helps prevent many serious complications, including blindness, amputation, heart disease, stroke, and kidney damage. Despite more than twenty years of research documenting the importance of A1C, however, most people with diabetes do not know about it. So today in Washington, D.C. and 16 other cities across the nation, a new program called Aim. Believe. Achieve. The Diabetes A1C Initiative(TM) will encourage Americans with diabetes to have their A1C levels regularly tested and hold those levels under 7 percent.
“The United States is facing a major public health crisis. Millions of Americans with diabetes are not in control of their disease, and as a result, remain at risk of losing their eyesight or a limb, or suffering a heart attack or stroke,” said Tommy Thompson, Secretary of Health and Human Services. “Today, we’re issuing a call-to-action challenging all Americans to commit to helping people with diabetes aim for, believe in, and achieve a target A1C of less than 7%. Achieving this goal may not only save people from suffering these devastating complications, but also may save our country billions of dollars in healthcare costs.”
In addition to events in Washington, Aim. Believe. Achieve. The Diabetes A1C Initiative(TM) activities were hosted in Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Madison (WI), Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle. These activities and the national event were hosted in partnership with the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE), the International Diabetes Centers (IDC) and Take Control of Your Diabetes (TCOYD) and supported by Aventis Pharmaceuticals.
Studies show that reaching an A1C of less than 7% may reduce a person’s risk of serious diabetes-related microvascular complications by as much as 35 percent. Yet more than 50 percent of the people in this country diagnosed with diabetes are not meeting this goal, despite the availability of tools to help them better monitor and effectively manage their glucose levels.
“People with diabetes often receive a lot of messages about controlling their disease, and it often seems to them that the task is overwhelming,” said Jane K. Kadohiro, president of the American Association of Diabetes Educators. “It is possible to achieve an A1C of less than seven percent. If you have diabetes, it’s important to talk to your doctor or diabetes educator about your management strategy and what more you can do as a team to attain the treatment goal.”
A team of patient advocates, A1C Champions(TM), is participating in the education and motivation effort. The A1C Champions(TM), also supported by Aventis, include certified diabetes educators and people with diabetes who have achieved control over the disease. Russell Troyer, a 28-year-old Floridian, is one of the Champions. With the help of Patti King-Warner, his diabetes educator, Troyer was able to reach his target A1C level. Now they are working as part of the Aim. Believe. Achieve. The Diabetes A1C Initiative(TM) program to help others do the same.
“I lived for years with uncontrolled diabetes. It cost me some of my vision and nerve damage in my feet. I didn’t know what A1C was or why that particular number is so important. If I had known I might have been able to monitor and control my diabetes better,” Troyer said. “Now I have the A1C blood test done on a regular basis. I’m able to monitor how I’m doing. I’ve brought my A1C down to below seven percent and I feel great. I’ve become an A1C Champion because I want others to know reaching this target is important and achievable.”
Other organizations that lent their support to today’s kick-off include the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the American Diabetes Association.
For more information about this program or about A1C, visit http://www.diabeteswatch.com/A1C or call 1-800-922-5324.
American Association of Diabetes Educators
The American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) is a multi-disciplinary organization of more than 10,000 healthcare professionals dedicated to advocating for quality diabetes education and care. For more information about AADE please visit: http://www.aadenet.org.
International Diabetes Center
International Diabetes Center provides clinical, research and education programs and services to ensure that every individual with diabetes or at risk for diabetes receives the best possible care. Located in Minneapolis, International Diabetes Center is part of Park Nicollet Institute, a division of Park Nicollet Health Services, which works to continuously improve patient care, population health and public accountability through education, research and outreach. Park Nicollet Health Services, an integrated care system, also includes Methodist Hospital, Park Nicollet Clinic and Park Nicollet Foundation. For more information about IDC please visit: http://www.idcdiabetes.org.
Take Control of Your Diabetes
TCOYD is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating and motivating people with diabetes and their loved ones to take an active role in their condition, in order to live healthier and happier lives. It is TCOYD’s belief that the most efficient and effective way to improve diabetes care is to educate the people who are living with diabetes, as well as the caregivers, about the best ways to prevent this condition and its complications. For more information about TCOYD please visit: http://www.tcoyd.org.
Aventis (NYSE: AVE) is dedicated to improving life by treating and preventing human disease through the discovery and development of innovative pharmaceutical products. Aventis focuses on prescription drugs for important therapeutic areas such as oncology, cardiology, diabetes, respiratory/allergy, anti-infectives, as well as on human vaccines. In 2001, Aventis generated sales of € 17.7 billion ($15.8 billion), invested approx. € 3 billion ($2.7 billion) in research and development and employed approximately 75,000 people in its core business. Aventis corporate headquarters is in Strasbourg, France. The company’s prescription drugs business is conducted in the U.S. by Aventis Pharmaceuticals Inc., which is headquartered in Bridgewater, New Jersey. Aventis Pharmaceuticals was recently named one of the top companies to work for by Working Mother magazine. For more information about Aventis in the U.S., please visit: http://www.aventis-us.com.
To receive a copy of this release or any recent release, visit the Aventis Pharmaceuticals U.S. Web site at http://www.aventis-us.com.
Statements in this news release other than historical information are forward-looking statements subject to risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially depending on factors such as the availability of resources, the timing and effects of regulatory actions, the strength of competition, the outcome of litigation, and the effectiveness of patent protection. Additional information regarding risks and uncertainties is set forth in the current Annual Report on Form 20-F of Aventis on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Peter Modica; 212-614-4246
Aimee Jobe; 312-596-3411