your internet resource on facebook on twitter on Google+ 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 -
National Diabetes Program, Indian Health Service -

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:
Native Sun News: Lakota swimmers promote healthy lifestyles (11/30)
Ivan Star Comes Out: Indoctrinated at Indian boarding school (11/30)
Brandon Ecoffey: President of tribal college takes aim at paper (11/30)
Bobbi Rose Nez: Big Brothers Big Sisters reaches Native youth (11/30)
Terry Brunner: USDA helping tribes build stronger economies (11/30)
Official in Paraguay fired for kicking Indian woman in stomach (11/30)
Native Sun News: Tribal member speaks out against fracking (11/27)
Lakota Country Times: Rosebud mothers address meth issues (11/27)
Tim Giago: Walk a mile in the moccasins of Native Americans (11/27)
Vince Two Eagles: Focus on being thankful this holiday season (11/27)
Native Sun News: Keystone fighters celebrate permit's defeat (11/27)
Kevin Leecy: Tribes remain a vital segment of our community (11/27)
Steven Newcomb: Even media treats our nations as 'nothing' (11/27)
Ray Cook: Thanksgiving flies in the face of original Americans (11/27)
Terese Mailhot: Racism prevails in American popular culture (11/27)
Ilya Somin: Persistent 'myth' justified taking of Indian lands (11/27)
Ak-Chin Indian Community sued for same-sex marriage ban (11/27)
Cahuilla Band celebrates new travel center at gaming facility (11/27)
Opinion: Don't break promise to Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe (11/27)
Native Sun News: Family questions FBI on reservation death (11/25)
Lakota Country Times: Rosebud students earn top scholarship (11/25)
Brandon Ecoffey: Making a difference for people on Pine Ridge (11/25)
Yurok Tribe: Mourning the passing of 'visionary' Troy Fletcher (11/25)
Ned Blackhawk: Supreme Court case jeopardizes tribal rights (11/25)
Steve Russell: The real origins of the world's terrorism crisis (11/25)
Ramona Peters: Sharing a Wampanoag story of Thanksgiving (11/25)
Yatibaey Evans: Let's all teach the truth about Native history (11/25)
Martie Simmons: Every Native parent dreads this time of year (11/25)
Eric Metaxas: The 'miracle' of Squanto and first Thanksgiving (11/25)
Presidential Medal of Freedom presented to late Billy Frank Jr (11/25)
Oneida Nation opens first branch location of tribal-owned bank (11/25)
Virginia tribes continue to pay tribute required by 1677 treaty (11/25)
Chukchansi Tribe reaches new agreement for shuttered casino (11/25)
Poarch Band to welcome visitors to $65M expansion at casino (11/25)
Stillaguamish Tribe debuts eatery and microbrewery at casino (11/25)
Connecticut tribes consider proposals for third gaming facilty (11/25)
Mark Pilarski: Why are games different at some tribal casinos? (11/25)
Tribes seek support for Native language instruction programs (11/24)
Rep. Mullin confirms divisions in Indian Country on Carcieri fix (11/24)
President Obama to award Medal of Freedom to Billy Frank Jr. (11/24)
Sault Tribe pushes for passage of Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act (11/24)
Lakota Country Times: Charles Trimble recognized for writings (11/24)
Native Sun News Editorial: Some new names in Indian Country (11/24)
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.