A study just published by VSP® Vision Care, a 56 million-member non-profit vision benefits and services company, reports that VSP has saved its clients $4.5 billion in potential healthcare expenditures via early detection of chronic eye diseases.
Meet Mary,* a 16-year-old girl with type 1 diabetes. When her parents ask her how her blood sugar is, she always has a good number. She keeps a tidy logbook of her blood sugars, and they look fine, although her last A1C was inexplicably high. It's been a long time since she was diagnosed, and her parents are confident that she knows how to care for herself. She has been somewhat less energetic for quite awhile, but her parents attribute that to growing pains, as Mary has grown from a chubby child into a very slender young woman. She appears a little dehydrated and flushed sometimes, but she always drinks a lot of water and goes to the bathroom frequently, so her parents aren't concerned. They have also noted a fruity odor about her, which she attributes to a new lip gloss.
Molly Martin is a vibrant and energetic 18-year-old from Texas who's had type 1 diabetes since the age of two. Five years ago, Molly took up motocross racing. She says, "I love riding motocross---it's just you and the bike. I feel free when I ride, like I don't have to think about diabetes. I do have to make sure that I test before I get on and during breaks, to make sure my sugar is doing what it's supposed to be doing. But when I get out there, it's just me and the bike, going."
The rate of foot and leg amputations among people with diabetes fell by as much as 36 percent in one four-year period, according to a study of patients at Veterans Affairs clinics. Taking patients' age and sex into account, amputations-major and minor-dropped from about seven per 1,000 patients in 2000 to between four and five per 1,000 by 2004. The latter figure is a reduction of around 36 percent, with the biggest decrease coming in above-the-knee amputations.
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