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Press Release

For Immediate Release: February 06, 2008
Contact: Division of News & Electronic Media, Office of Communication
(404) 639-3286

New Resource for Preventing Diabetes in African-Americans

Joint CDC and NIH Program Releases New Resource for Use by Faith and Community-based Groups

A new diabetes prevention resource designed to encourage and help faith–based and community organizations get actively involved in deterring preventable diabetes among African–Americans was released by the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP), a joint venture of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health.

The new interactive educational kit, Power to Prevent: A Family Lifestyle Approach to Diabetes Prevention, provides hands–on instruction and guidance in making behavior changes that can help prevent diabetes.

"Too many African–Americans have, or will get, diabetes," said Ann Albright, PhD., director of CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation. "Fortunately, many people and families can take steps to prevent that from happening.  It's often difficult to change or adopt new behaviors, but this new resource gives many examples of things that most people can do that will help them avoid a very serious life–long disease. This program also helps faith–based and community organizations which are very important to many African–American families provide the support that can make a difference in helping people take on new nutrition and exercise habits."

The Power to Prevent program includes 12 interactive group sessions that provide hands–on instruction in ways to prevent diabetes, and shows how families and individuals can change their daily habits so that they get more physical activity, make healthy food choices and better control their food serving sizes.  The sessions are designed to be led by various members of the faith–based or community organization, such as a recreation director.

"We know that churches, faith–based organizations and community groups can be very effective in helping people learn about diabetes, and in helping take steps that can prevent diabetes for most people," said Albright. "That's why we created this new tool. We need faith and community–based organizations to be actively involved in diabetes prevention among their members, and with this easy–to–use program, they can do that effectively."

Diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States; and the prevalence rate more than doubled among African–Americans from 1980 to 2005, from 3.3 to 6.8. Diabetes is a disease associated with high levels of blood glucose resulting from defects in insulin production that causes sugar to build up in the body.  It can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower–extremity amputations; and can also lead to premature death. It is estimated that, among Americans aged 20 and older, more than 20 million have diabetes, of which more than 3 million are African–Americans.  After taking into consideration the age differences in the various populations, non–Hispanics blacks are 1.8 times as likely to have diabetes as non–Hispanics whites.

The CDC Division of Diabetes Translation, through the NDEP (co–sponsored by the NIH), provides diabetes education to improve the treatment and outcomes for people with diabetes, promote early diagnosis, and prevent or delay the onset of diabetes. While the design and appearance of Power to Prevent is specifically directed toward African–Americans because of the increasing prevalence in this group, the basic content can be useful and relevant to all populations.

To download or order a free single printed copy of Power to Prevent go to For general information about diabetes, please visit


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