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New Game on Facebook® Addresses Alarming Rate of Diabetes in Latinos

Experts underscore need for action with Latinos and Hispanics twice as likely to develop chronic disease than Caucasians(i)

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RIDGEFIELD, Conn., Nov. 10, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- A new online game called HealthSeeker™ Explorando tu Salud, Paso a Paso is now available to the 10 million Latino and Hispanic(ii) users on Facebook®, with the goal of helping this population with lifestyle and nutritional tips to manage their diabetes. To mark World Diabetes Day on November 14th, the introduction of HealthSeeker™ aims to provide the growing number of Latinos and Hispanics with diabetes a unique online experience that combines a supportive social network with important information on living with the disease.

HealthSeeker™ encourages players to enlist Facebook® 'Friends' as sources of inspiration and ongoing encouragement in improving their understanding and management of diabetes. Facebook® is the fourth most popular website among Latinos, reaching nearly 45 percent of all Latinos that are online.(ii)

"World Diabetes Day is a perfect time to educate the diabetes community about their health," said Manny Hernandez, president, Diabetes Hands Foundation, who has been living with diabetes since 2002. "I know how much having support of friends and family both online and offline can mean to those living with a chronic disease, particularly Latinos."

Obesity and physical inactivity are the main risk factors for diabetes among Latino and Hispanic Americans.(i) HealthSeeker™ motivates users to take on simple, everyday challenges, such as adding more fiber, fruit and vegetables to their diets or increasing their daily activity, to help achieve their lifestyle goals.

"I am passionate about helping Latinos battle diabetes and its risk factors and am always looking for new ways to motivate my patients," said Dr. Enrique Caballero, endocrinologist, investigator and director, Joslin Latino Diabetes Initiative. "This innovative game has a lot of potential to help people with diabetes make more informed lifestyle decisions."

There are missions, misiones, and action steps, los pasos a seguir, to help players achieve several lifestyle goals, metas de estilo de vida. The missions and action steps that players select must be completed in order to advance in the game. The lifestyle goals include eating healthier, achieving an optimal weight, lowering blood sugar levels and lowering cardiovascular risk factors. As action steps are completed and players return to report their progress, they receive experience points and other "awards" for their achievements.

HealthSeeker™ can be accessed free of charge at www.ExplorandoTuSalud.org. The game was designed by Ayogo Games, Inc.

HealthSeeker™ is a unique collaboration between experts, advocates and industry partners who are on the front lines of diabetes care. It was developed by the Diabetes Hands Foundation, in collaboration with the Joslin Diabetes Center and Joslin Latino Diabetes Initiative, with support provided by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

In June 2010, HealthSeeker™ was launched in English to help the general public with diabetes manage the disease. To date, more than 4,000 people have played the game, completing more than 16,400 healthy action steps and nearly 1,600 missions.

Support from Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for HealthSeeker™ is part of a global initiative that includes a collection of creative online diabetes games reflecting the company's commitment to transforming one way that people learn, through innovative education.

About Diabetes

Approximately 27 million Americans(iii) and 285 million people worldwide(iii) have diabetes. Each year, more than 231,000 people in North America(iii) and more than 3.96 million people worldwide die from diabetes and its complications(iii) – a number which is expected to increase by more than 50 percent over the next decade.(iv) Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the body either does not properly produce, or use, the hormone insulin.(v) Latino and Hispanic Americans are twice as likely to have diabetes than are Caucasian Americans.(i) In fact, approximately 10 percent of Latino and Hispanic Americans (2 million) are reported to have diabetes.(i) Latino and Hispanic Americans also have higher rates of diabetic retinopathy and kidney disease than Caucasian Americans.(i)

About Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., based in Ridgefield, CT, is the largest U.S. subsidiary of Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation (Ridgefield, CT) and a member of the Boehringer Ingelheim group of companies.

The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world's 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 142 affiliates in 50 countries and more than 41,500 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel products of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.

In 2009, Boehringer Ingelheim posted net sales of US $17.7 billion (12.7 billion euro) while spending 21 percent of net sales in its largest business segment, Prescription Medicines, on research and development.

For more information, please visit http://us.boehringer-ingelheim.com

On Twitter, Inc.: twitter.com/boehringerus

About Diabetes Hands Foundation (DHF)

Diabetes Hands Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to connecting people touched by diabetes (those with diabetes, as well as their loved ones) and raising diabetes awareness.

Through its online communities (TuDiabetes.org in English, EsTuDiabetes.org in Spanish) and its other social media channels, DHF offers support and information to nearly 200,000 people every month.

Since 2008, DHF has developed pioneering diabetes awareness programs such as Word In Your Hand™, Drawing Diabetes, No-Sugar Added Poetry, Making Sense of Diabetes and The Big Blue Test.

For more information, please visit www.diabeteshandsfoundation.org

On Facebook®: www.facebook.com/diabetesHF

On Twitter, Inc.: twitter.com/diabetesHF

On YouTube: www.youtube.com/DiabetesHands

DHF does not endorse products or services.

About Joslin Diabetes Center

Joslin Diabetes Center is the world's preeminent diabetes research and clinical care organization. Joslin is dedicated to ensuring that people with diabetes live long, healthy lives and offers real hope and progress toward diabetes prevention and a cure. Founded in 1898 by Elliott P. Joslin, M.D., Joslin is an independent, nonprofit institution affiliated with Harvard Medical School.

The Joslin Latino Diabetes Initiative is a comprehensive effort that aims at improving the lives of Latinos with diabetes and their families through innovative care, patient education, research, outreach and professional education.

For more information, please call 1-800-JOSLIN-1 or visit: www.joslin.org

For more information on the Joslin Latino Diabetes Initiative, please call 617-309-2490 or visit: www.joslin.org/care/latino_diabetes_initiative.html

For research and clinical news at Inside Joslin: www.joslin.org/news/inside_joslin.html

On Facebook®: www.facebook.com/joslindiabetescenter

On Twitter, Inc.: twitter.com/JoslinDiabetes

Joslin Diabetes Center does not endorse products or services.

About Ayogo Games, Inc.

Ayogo Games, Inc. is a Vancouver-based studio that creates innovative gaming experiences enjoyed on social networks (Facebook®, MySpace™, Bebo, Inc. etc.), and mobile platforms (iPhone®, Android™, BlackBerry®, etc.). We help content creators and rights holders build new revenue streams and new audiences for their content.

For more information, please visit: www.ayogo.com

For CEO Michael Fergusson's Social Game Design Blog: www.ayogo.com/social-game-design

On Facebook® : www.facebook.com/ayogo

On Twitter, Inc.: twitter.com/ayogogames

(i) Statistics About Diabetes. The Ohio State University Medical Center. Available at: http://medicalcenter.osu.edu/patientcare/healthcare_services/diabetes_endocrine/about_diabetes/statistics_about_diabetes/Pages/index.aspx. Accessed on: October 7, 2010.

(ii) Hispanic Online Publishers Turn to Facebook to Engage Hispanics. Hispanic Online Marketing. Available at: http://www.hispaniconlinemarketing.com/2010/06/hispanic-online-publishers-turn-to-facebook-to-engage-hispanics/. Accessed on: October 7, 2010.

(iii) International Diabetes Federation. Diabetes Atlas. 4th edn. Brussels: International Diabetes Federation, 2009.

(iv) World Health Organization. Fact Sheet No. 312: What is Diabetes? Available at:

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs312/en/. Accessed on: October 7, 2010.

(v) International Diabetes Federation. Diabetes Atlas. 3rd edn. Brussels: International Diabetes Federation, 2006.

SOURCE Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.



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