THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
Thursday, July 13, 2000
President Clinton Announces Major New Investment in Diabetes Research, Treatment, and Prevention (7/13/00)
Urges Congress to Fully Fund Racial Disparities Health Initiative
Today, at the national conference of the NAACP, the President will announce that the National Institutes of Health and the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation will immediately release $5 million to 10 research sites worldwide to fund new clinical trials attempting to replicate the breakthrough "islet transplantation" protocol that has apparently cured a small number of individuals with Type 1 diabetes.
He will also highlight that the Administration's Mid-Session review budget commits another $300 million over five years for research on and prevention of all types of diabetes. As he outlines this major new financing commitment, the President will unveil findings from a new report documenting that adolescent birth rates, infant mortality, and childhood immunization rates are improving across all segments of the youth populations, including minorities. However, the President will also note that racial disparities in health status persist, and call on the Congress to fully fund the Administration's initiative to improve health outcomes and eliminate health disparities amongst American minority populations. Today, the President will:
ANNOUNCE SIGNIFICANT NEW FUNDING INVESTMENT IN DIABETES RESEARCH AND PREVENTION. Approximately 16 million people nationwide have diabetes, a chronic disease with no cure that costs the health care system approximately $98 billion annually. Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in people aged 20 to 74, affecting up to 24,000 people each year. It is also the leading cause of non-traumatic lower-limb amputations - more than 56,000 a year. In addition, people with diabetes are more than twice as likely to have heart disease or a stroke than people without the disease. One in four African American women over the age of 55 has diabetes, and African Americans are more likely to have diabetes than whites.
- New investment in breakthrough clinical trials treating Type 1 Diabetes. Today, President Clinton will announce that the National Institutes of Health will invest $5 million, as part of a larger public private partnership between NIH and the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, in 10 sites worldwide in an attempt to replicate the breakthrough islet transplantation technique demonstrated to have effectively cured Type 1 diabetes in a small number of patients. There are approximately one million individuals with Type 1 diabetes nationwide, approximately 25 percent of which are minorities, and 30,000 new cases are diagnosed every year - 13,000 in children.
- Highlighted new investment of $150 million over 5 years in research on diabetes proposed in mid-session review. The President's Mid-Session review budget includes $150 million over five additional years at the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for new research on treatment and prevention of Type 1 diabetes, including ways to understand and address the immune system abnormalities that cause the disease and combat complications of the disease.
- Highlighted new investment of $150 million over five additional years to prevent and treat diabetes in Native American populations. The President's Mid-Session review budget includes approximately $ 150 million for over 300 tribal grant programs to prevent the development of Type 2 diabetes in individuals at risk and enhance the diabetes care and education provided at Indian Health Service clinics through the creation of new diabetes clinics and teams of health care professionals dedicated to diabetes care.
- Highlighted investment of at least $65 million in new or expanded initiatives dedicated to research on and prevention of Type 2 diabetes in his FY 2001 budget. President Clinton announced that his FY 2001 budget proposes to dedicate at least $65 million to research on Type 2 diabetes, as part of an overall investment at NIH of $561 million in diabetes research. This new funding will be used to fund clinical trials aimed at developing more effective treatment; prevention strategies and national education efforts for Type 2 diabetes; research on risk factors for development and progression of complications for diabetes; and the reasons for racial disparities in the incidence of diabetes. This funding will also be used to expand and speed the search for genes indicating a predisposition to Type 2 diabetes and basic scientific research on the molecular basis for the disease.
HIGHLIGHT A NEW REPORT INDICATING THAT THE WELL BEING OF AMERICA'S CHILDREN CONTINUES TO IMPROVE, BUT MORE MUST BE DONE TO ADDRESS RACIAL DISPARITIES. Today, the President will highlight the findings of a new government report entitled "America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being 2000" by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics detailing that the health and well-being of American children continues to improve. Key findings include:
- Childhood immunization status. In 1998, approximately 80 percent of children aged 19 to 35 months had received the full complement of vaccines, a dramatic increase from 55 percent in 1992. And while great improvement has been made among minority children, only 73 percent of African-American children received the full complement of vaccines as opposed to 82 percent of white non-Hispanic children.
- Infant mortality. In 1998, the national infant mortality rate was 7.2 deaths per 1000 births, a record low - 14 percent lower than the 1993 rate. However, the rate for African American infants (13.7 deaths per 1000 births) is still more than twice the rate for white and Hispanic infants (6 deaths per 1000 births).
- Teen birth rates. The national teen birth rate dropped for the seventh year in a row to a record low of 30 births per 1000 for young women ages 15 to 17 years old. The sharpest decline was in the birth rate for African American teens ages 15 to 17, for whom the rate dropped by nearly one-third from 1991 to 1998.
- Low birth-weight babies. Although low birth-weight rates are rising for children of all races, in part because of the higher number of twin and triplet births has increased, 13.2 percent of African American children were born at a low birth-weight in 1998 as opposed to 6.6 percent of white children.
- Violent crimes committed by young people. In 1998, the serious violent crime offending rate for youth was 27 crimes per 1,000 adolescents - a drop by more than half from 1993 and the lowest level recorded since 1973.
While the racial disparities in these indicators is troubling, it is encouraging that enrollment in early childhood education is up, particularly among children living in poverty, among children with mothers who were not in the labor force, and among black, non-Hispanic children.
URGE THE CONGRESS TO FULLY FUND THE ADMINISTRATION'S RACE AND HEALTH INITIATIVE. The President will note more needs to be done to address racial health disparities. For example, African Americans are 40 percent more likely to die from heart disease than whites. Native Americans suffer significantly higher rates of infant mortality and heart disease. And Asian Americans are as much as five times more likely to die from liver cancer associated with hepatitis. In order to address these and other racial health disparities, President Clinton launched a new initiative in 1998 that set a national goal of eliminating by the year 2010, longstanding disparities in health status that affect racial and ethnic minority groups in six key areas: 1) infant mortality; 2) diabetes; 3) cancer; 4) heart disease; 5) HIV/AIDS and 6) immunizations. The President's FY 2001 Budget includes $35 million for these demonstration projects. Recently, the Senate provided only $30 million. The President will reiterate his call to the Congress to fully fund this critical initiative.
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