Government and Regulations

SDPI Reports to Congress: Seeing Successes

An IHS report shows progress in the decrease of diabetes mellitus rates among AI/ANs.


The IHS has released the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) 2014 Report to Congress, Changing the Course of Diabetes: Turning Hope Into Reality. The report highlights the SDPI’s “ongoing and outstanding accomplishments” in improving the quality of diabetes mellitus (DM) care and outcomes for American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs). For instance, increases in prevalence rates of DM are slowing, climbing only from 15.2% to 15.9% between 2006 and 2012. This places the rates a bit closer to those of the nation (11.7%) in 2012. Other positive trends includes nearly constant obesity rates in AI/AN children and youth from 2006 through 2012 and a decline in end-stage renal disease in people with DM.

The SDPI recently awarded grants of about $138 million for evidence-based and community-driven strategies that prevent and treat DM in AI/AN people. The report to Congress provided an update on how the grant recipients are doing. For instance, one SDPI demonstration project included a lifestyle intervention that led to participants losing a mean of 10 pounds.

Guided by both scientific literature and community-driven priorities, according to Ann Bullock, MD, director of the IHS division of Diabetes Treatment and Prevention, SDPI has helped the grantees, Tribal leaders, and IHS collectively build “one of the most strategic and comprehensive diabetes treatment and prevention programs in the U.S.”

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