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National Clinical Care Commission Issues Final Report to Improve Diabetes Prevention and Treatment

January 12, 2022

The National Clinical Care Commission, a federal advisory committee established by the National Clinical Care Commission Act of 2017 – PDF, recently released its final report outlining recommendations to improve diabetes awareness, prevention, and treatment. The report called for additional federal efforts to improve access to health care, address social determinants of health, and improve trans-agency collaboration.

The Commission’s report – the first of its kind since 1975 – highlights evidence-based recommendations to address: (1) diabetes prevention and control in the general population; (2) diabetes prevention in populations who are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes; and (3) treatment of diabetes and its complications. It also underscores the need to address the diabetes epidemic as it cuts across many sectors, including food, housing, commerce, transportation, and the environment.

According to the CDC, 34.2 million people or 10.5% of the population have diabetes in the United States. When left untreated, diabetes can lead to serious conditions such as cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, limb amputation, and blindness. Diabetes during pregnancy can lead to complications for women such as high blood pressure or stroke and increases risks of birth defects, stillbirth, and preterm birth. In addition, individuals with poorly controlled diabetes have at least a two-fold greater risk of death from COVID-19.

According to the report, nearly 90 million American adults have prediabetes, or higher-than-normal blood glucose levels and about 85% do not know they have it. If current trends continue, one in three Americans will develop diabetes in their lifetime. Advancing health equity is critical to improving the health and long-term wellbeing of Americans impacted by diabetes and controlling rising costs associated with treatment and management of the disease.

“The National Clinical Care Commission’s report is a roadmap to leverage a variety of federal programs to prevent diabetes and improve diabetes management and control,” said Dorothy Fink, M.D., Deputy Assistant Secretary for Women’s Health and Director, Office on Women’s Health. “OWH is pleased to disseminate the hard work of the Commission, which we co-sponsored with the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, to address diabetes prevention and treatment.”

The 23-member Commission, representing federal and non-federal entities with diverse disciplines, was overseen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Commission members have significant public- and private-sector experience including primary care, endocrinology, pharmacology, patient advocacy, public health, veteran health, and minority health. Federal members also included representatives from the Department of Veterans affairs, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Agriculture.

To read the Commission’s full report, visit: https://health.gov/about-odphp/committees-workgroups/national-clinical-care-commission/report-congress.