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High blood sugar, bitter side effects For 8 million citizens, cost of undiagnosed diabetes is enormous

July 08, 1997|By Diana K. Sugg | Diana K. Sugg,SUN STAFF

Language in the current Congressional budget resolution requires Medicare, the government program that covers the elderly and disabled, to do the same.

The CDC and National Institutes of Health are teaming up to launch an extensive education campaign, aimed at the public, physicians, employers and health plans. They will release public service announcements and work in community arenas such as churches to get the word out.

As part of that effort, Dr. Simeon Margolis, a Johns Hopkins endocrinologist, Dr. Leo Frangipane, a motivational speaker, will be in Baltimore July 16 and 17.

A comprehensive new guide, "The Johns Hopkins Guide to Diabetes," written by Dr. Christopher D. Saudek, Dr. Richard R. Rubin and Cynthia S. Shump, comes to bookstores this month.

"People long ago learned to ask, 'What is my blood pressure number? What is my cholesterol level?'" said Gavin of the Howard Hughes Institute. "We are now at a point where we need that same theme emphasized -- 'What is my blood sugar level, and do I have diabetes?'"

Information on diabetes

These factors increase the risk of diabetes: obesity, having a first-degree relative with diabetes or being a member of an ethnic population with a higher prevalence of the disease, such as African-Americans, Hispanics and Asians.

For people who wish to participate in research, here is information on local clinical trials:

At Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Dr. Christopher D. Saudek will be testing the effects of diet, exercise and medicines other than insulin in adults at risk for diabetes. Call 410-281-2990.

At the University of Maryland Medical Center, Dr. Stuart Chalew is studying whether lifestyle changes in overweight children can prevent the onset of diabetes in adulthood. Call 410-328-8202.

Pub Date: 7/08/97

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