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CMA Foundation - Advancing Practice Excellence in Diabetes

The California Medical Association Foundation has launched its Advancing Practice Excellence in Diabetes Project to –

  1. Decrease the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in California,
  2. Reduce the racial and ethnic healthcare disparities associated with this disease.
  3. Strengthen the viability of solo and small group practices.

The CMA Foundation strives to address health issues that will become major threats to society and support physicians in their role to tackle the issues. It is through this interest in current medical concerns that Advancing Practice Excellence in Diabetes was created. This project intends to improve how physicians care for their patients with diabetes, how patients care for themselves, and prevent future spread of this disease.

Type 2 diabetes is often linked to obesity and physical inactivity, and is generally more common in older adults, women, and certain racial and ethnic groups. However, in recent years it has spread to a much younger patient base, and has been diagnosed in children as young as seven years old. By the year 2020, the prevalence of diabetes in California is expected to exceed four million people, and as the numbers of undiagnosed and non-compliant patients increase, so do the medical complications associated with diabetes. Patients with diabetes often have complications that coincide with the disease, including heart disease, stroke, hypertension, blindness, kidney disorders, loss of feeling in the feet and legs, and amputations. In addition, patients with diabetes are twice as likely to develop depression as the general public, which can lead to further mental health complications.

Diabetes affects certain populations disproportionately, and the racial and ethnic disparities are yet another reason that something needs to be done to slow the spread of this disease. The Native American, Latino, and African American communities are twice as likely to develop diabetes over a lifetime as other groups. Experts project that rates in South East Asian communities are incrementally increasing and their susceptibility increases when introduced to an American diet. Unfortunately, these susceptible populations experience significant health disparities associated with their diabetes. Narrowing these disparities is a crucial objective of this project.

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