About the American Diabetes Association Diabetes is not a disease that presents a single face; it affects people across ethnic, age, and socioeconomic lines and manifests itself in many ways. It is a costly and growing epidemic in this country: 23.6 million American children and adults have diabetes, with nearly one-fourth of this number unaware that they have it. Although widely under-diagnosed, diabetes or pre-diabetes is known to occur in almost 2 out of 10 Americans. Indeed, most of us have a friend or loved one whose life is complicated by the disease (see sidebar).
Diabetes, is a deadly disease in the United States, and currently has no cure.
ADA's Mission The mission of the American Diabetes Association is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.
For more than 66 years, ADA has funded medical research and provided information and other services that have helped millions of people with diabetes—and those at risk for developing the disease—live longer, healthier lives. A total investment of more than $42 million a year at more than 160 research institutions throughout the country, which has produced scientific breakthroughs such as development of human insulin, laser treatments to prevent blindness, and improved care for women with diabetes and their babies.
ADA also has an extensive education program to assist those with diabetes, including a nation-wide camping and retreat program for our youth, a new national campaign to stem the tide of obesity among children in our country and national community initiatives focusing on African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans.
Other progress includes its far-reaching advocacy program designed to empower individuals in their quest to improve health care and health insurance, fight discrimination, and increase the federal commitment to diabetes research and prevention.
Clearly, diabetes is an urgent personal and professional matter for individuals and families, for community and business leaders, and for society as a whole. The ADA's multifaceted programs seek to improve the quality of life for all people living with this disease by fostering healthier work environments and loyal work forces, providing educational resources to all layers of society, fighting discrimination of the disease in a variety of settings, and seeking a cure through continued support of innovative research.