November 3, 1983
By the President of the United States of America
Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease that now threatens the lives of approximately 11 million Americans. Although careful treatment can control many of the short-term metabolic effects of diabetes, the disease is also associated with serious long-term complications that affect the eyes, kidneys, nerves, and blood vessels of the heart, brain, and extremities. In addition to its devastating toll in terms of human suffering, the cost of medical care for diabetic patients and associated losses due to disability and premature mortality now exceed $10 billion annually in the United States alone.
Fortunately, the outlook for clinical advances related to the diagnosis, treatment, cure, and, ultimately, the prevention of diabetes and its complications has never been as promising as it is today. Recent research advances have included the synthetic production of purified human insulin to ensure adequate supplies of this essential hormone, the development of improved methods for insulin administration, new technologies for monitoring critical blood sugar levels, new therapies for the treatment of diabetes-related kidney, eye, and cardiovascular diseases, and improved clinical capabilities for reducing the increased perinatal morbidity and mortality associated with diabetic pregnancies.
In addition, remarkable advances have also been made in developing procedures that permit the successful transplantation of insulin-producing cells into diabetic animals without the need for chronic suppression of the immune system. As these and related studies are extended to humans, they may lead directly to the development of a cure for some of the most serious types of diabetes and to a means to prevent, arrest, or reverse the long-term complications of this disease.
Recent advances in basic biomedical research are providing new insights into the multiple causes of diabetes. We anticipate that these studies will help to identify individuals at risk for developing diabetes so that we may ultimately develop approaches that will prevent the disease and its complications altogether. Basic and clinical research advances have significantly reduced diabetes-related morbidity and mortality and have measurably improved the quality of life for people with diabetes. Nevertheless, much remains to be done before the cure and prevention of diabetes and its complications become a reality. Toward this goal, the Federal government, in cooperation with the private sector, will continue in the same determined spirit to lead the way toward eliminating diabetes as a major public health problem both for current and future generations.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, in accordance with Senate Joint Resolution 121, do hereby proclaim the month of November, 1983, as National Diabetes Month, and I call upon all government agencies and the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 3rd day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eighth.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 12:31 p.m., November 4, 1983]