indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Indian diabetes program up for reauthorization
Monday, April 9, 2007
Filed Under: Health

With Indian health care back on the agenda in Congress, tribal leaders are setting their sights on the reauthorization of an important diabetes initiative.

The Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) was created in 1997 to combat an epidemic of diabetes among Native Americans. According to government statistics, American Indians and Alaska Natives have the highest rate of the disease than any other racial or ethnic group.

But even as diabetes rates rise, particularly among young Natives, tribes and the Indian Health Service have seen successes through the program. Blood sugar levels -- one indicator of the disease -- have dropped in Indian Country, contributing to a 40 percent reduction in certain diabetes-related complications.

With additional funding, tribes hope to do even more. They are asking Congress to authorize $200 million a year over the next five years, up from $150 million a year currently provided through IHS grants.

"Eight years is not enough time to turn around the rates of diabetes," Buford Rolin, the chairman of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians of Alabama, said at a February 8 Senate hearing. "Give us time."

The effort to reauthorize SDPI is drawing some important bipartisan support on Capitol Hill. The leaders of the Congressional Diabetes Caucus and the Senate Diabetes Caucus are asking their colleagues to support Indian Country's call.

"Federally supported treatment and prevention programs are also showing real results in the American Indian and Alaska Native populations," Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colorado) and Rep. Mike Castle (R-Delaware), the co-chairs of the House diabetes caucus, wrote in a March 2 letter.

The last time the program was authorized was in 2002, when it sailed through the House and Senate by unanimous consent. The move increased funding from $100 million a year to the current $150 million a year.

But the political landscape changed dramatically in the last two years. Tribes faced incredible opposition to major pieces of legislation, including the important Indian Health Care Improvement Act reauthorization, which was scuttled at the last minute by the Bush administration and some GOP senators.

This year, tribes and their supports in Congress hope the picture will be different. Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota), the new chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, has made diabetes, and health care, one of his top priorities.

With the SDPI set to expire in September 2008, the National Indian Health Board -- on which Rolin serves as vice chairman -- is taking the lead on the effort. The goal is to reauthorize the program as soon as possible, before the 2008 presidential campaigns dominate the agenda.

NIHB counts nearly 200 supporters in the House and nearly 60 in the Senate. With just a few more in each chamber, the reauthorization could again sail through by unanimous consent.

Diabetes afflicts Native Americans at increasingly high rates. Among some tribes, as many as 50 percent of the adult population has the disease, which has no cure.

The majority of cases in Indian Country are of a form called Type 2. It results when the body can't use energy from food properly, resulting in fatigue, increased appetite, nausea, increased thirst and blurred vision.

If untreated, diabetes can lead to blindness, kidney failure and amputations.

Typically, type 2 diabetes was known only among adults. But it is showing up in Native children at earlier ages.

A CDC study showed that Native children ages 15 to 19 have the highest rate of type 2 diabetes in the country. The prevalence was nearly three times greater than non-Indian youth.

Diabetes is not just an Indian problem, however. Among the greater population, the CDC has reported a 30 percent increase during an eight-year period in the 1990s. This is tied to a growing number of overweight and obese Americans.

Treating type 2 relies on changing behaviors. Eating well and exercising more can prevent the onset of heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure.

Relevant Documents:
House Letter | Senate Letter

SCIA Hearing:
BUSINESS MEETING to consider pending legislative business, to be followed immediately by an OVERSIGHT HEARING on diabetes in Indian Country, with particular focus on the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (February 8, 2007)

Relevant Links:
National Indian Health Board - http://www.nihb.org
National Diabetes Program, Indian Health Service - http://www.ihs.gov/MedicalPrograms/Diabetes/index.asp

Related Stories:
Pascua Yaqui Tribe to build diabetes center (02/16)
Indian Affairs Committee meeting, hearing (2/8)
Indian Affairs Committee sets hearing on diabetes (2/5)
Cherokee Nation announces new diabetes center (08/25)
Diabetes rates in Indian Country still on the rise (8/23)
Study tracks high rate of diabetes in Pima youth (7/26)
Choctaw Nation health center takes on diabetes (06/12)
Study confirms benefits of diabetes control (12/22)
Native foods making their return to the table (11/23)
Native Harvest brings Native foods to the table (11/16)
Study warns of problems with diabetes drug (10/21)
32 percent of Native kids in California are overweight (09/09)
Rosebud Sioux Tribe holds 24-hour walk-a-thon (08/18)
Crow Tribe walks 166 miles to combat diabetes (05/26)
Navajo Nation launches 'Just Move It' campaign (05/09)
Report: Gene puts Indians at risk for diabetes (01/31)
Revised diet guidelines emphasize body weight (01/13)
20 percent of Oklahoma Indians have diabetes (11/15)
Indian center in Salt Lake City fight youth obesity (11/09)
Gila River Indian Community struggles with diabetes (11/09)
Obesity blamed for rising health care costs (10/20)
Heart disease, cancer showing up in Alaska Natives (10/19)
Report urges fight against childhood obesity (10/01)
Report calls on U.S. to honor health care commitment (08/30)
'Just Move It' campaign targets diabetes among Natives (08/27)
Pember: Obesity threatening Indian Country (08/02)
Indian doctor dedicates life to combating diabetes (07/30)
Tribal centers participate in youth diabetes study (07/28)
Medicare to allow some treatments for obesity (07/16)
Diabetes program reaches out to rural, elderly Navajos (06/07)
HHS says 41 million Americans at risk for diabetes (04/29)
Study documents urban Indian health disparities (04/21)
Diabetes and obesity ravage Native population (04/19)
Tribal colleges form network to combat diabetes (04/14)
CDC calls attention to health disparities in U.S. (02/09)
Preventive efforts touted by Surgeon General (2/5)
Study warns of rise in diabetes among Native youth (12/04)
Survey finds heavy health burden on Indian population (12/01)
Report documents unmet needs in Indian Country (7/23)
Congress approves $750M for Indian diabetes (11/21)

Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Mark Trahant: Bernie Sanders is right about Indian Health Service (7/1)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux Tribe celebrates historic victories (7/1)
Brandon Ecoffey: Attorney general is no friend to Indian Country (7/1)
Ivan Star Comes Out: Education system continues to oppress us (7/1)
DVIDS: Grand Ronde Tribes host local disaster training exercise (7/1)
Rachael Lorenzo: Food policies must include indigenous women (7/1)
Santa Ana Pueblo acquires large ranch that was listed for $33M (7/1)
Quapaw Tribe welcomes family home for 144th annual powwow (7/1)
White Mountain Apache Tribe recognizes student achievement (7/1)
Another guilty plea in Chippewa Cree Tribe corruption scandal (7/1)
Lumbee Tribe settles suit over unauthorized use of trademarks (7/1)
Musician brings Native language to stage in Canada Day concert (7/1)
Very few Native Americans working for technology giant Google (7/1)
Editorial: Keep guns out of hands of domestic violence offenders (7/1)
Tigua Tribe implements border controls after losing gaming case (7/1)
Supreme Court takes a pass on tribal labor sovereignty dispute (7/1)
Chasing the Dream: The impact of tribal gaming in North Dakota (7/1)
Grand Traverse Band casino employees credited with saving life (7/1)
National Park Service finalizes rule for tribal gathering of plants (6/30)
Five tribes donate over $500K to Democratic party's convention (6/30)
Bureau of Indian Affairs still hoping to reach land-into-trust goal (6/30)
Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe secures proclamation for 410 acres (6/30)
Seminole Tribe takes a big step forward with land-into-trust bid (6/30)
Tohono O'odham Nation signs health self-governance compact (6/30)
Native Sun News: Lakota and Cheyenne people join forces again (6/30)
Lakota Country Times: Paper continues to reach large audience (6/30)
Cronkite News: Senate committee takes on tribal water issues (6/30)
Dave Archambault: A day for all of Indian Country to remember (6/30)
Vi Waln: Don't let politics get in way of our children's education (6/30)
Leonard Peltier: My last best hope for freedom lies with Obama (6/30)
Shinnecock Nation weighs options to reclaim ancestral territory (6/30)
White Mountain Apache Tribe welcomes 'significant' discovery (6/30)
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes press for water pact (6/30)
Mille Lacs Band slams county for ending law enforcement deal (6/30)
County might end Grand Traverse Band land-into-trust appeal (6/30)
Tlingit and Haida Tribes acquire government contracting firm (6/30)
Donald Trump approved Indian gaming attack ads in New York (6/30)
Judge focuses on Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe casino decision (6/30)
Eastern Cherokee youth push for change in gaming per capita (6/30)
Buena Vista Rancheria signs updated Class III casino compact (6/30)
Connecticut tribes still working on plan for potential new casino (6/30)
Effort builds for missing and murdered Native women and girls (6/29)
Native talent among diverse group asked to join film academy (6/29)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.