More Americans Meeting Diabetes GoalsMain Category: Diabetes
Article Date: 17 Feb 2013
The number of Americans meeting their diabetes goals - blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol - has increased considerably over a 12-year period, says a new study by the NIH (National Institutes of Health) and CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and published in Diabetes Care.
The authors wrote that from 1988 to 2010, the proportion of diabetes patients in the USA who exceeded or met the three measures that demonstrate good diabetes management increased from approximately 2% to 19%.
Each measure, the researchers added, showed significant improvement. By 2010, over half of all diabetes patients in the country had met each individual goal.
What are the three measures of good diabetes management?They are known as the ABCs of diabetes:
Even though improvement has been considerable, the authors emphasized that the majority of patients have not met their three goals, therefore, there is still an urgent need for better diabetes control nationally. The report showed that young individuals and some minority groups were still well below the national average.
The incidences of illnesses and conditions which are known to be complications of diabetes have risen in many cases. A study carried out by researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, and published in JAMA (December 2012 issue) showed that the increase in vision impairment in the USA is linked to a higher prevalence of diabetes.
Catherine Cowie, Ph.D., director of the Diabetes Epidemiology Program at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), and team gathered and examined data from the National Health Nutrition Examination Surveys from 1988/94 and 1999/2010.
Dr. Cowie, who was also senior author, said:
"The most impressive finding was the significant improvement in diabetes management over time across all groups. However, we see a lot of room for improvement, for everyone, but particularly for younger people and some minority groups."
The 2007-2010 data showed that:
First author, Sarah Stark Casagrande, Ph.D., an epidemiologist from Social & Scientific Systems Inc., Silver Spring, Md., whose work is supported by NIDDK, said "Not only do Mexican-Americans and non-Hispanic blacks have higher rates of diabetes, members of these groups who develop diabetes also have poorer health outcomes. While diabetes control has improved in these populations, some disparities remain, demonstrating the need for improved management of the disease to prevent its devastating complications."
Doctors need to help diabetes patients find their own goals for cholesterol, blood pressure and A1C, because diabetes affects people in different ways, depending on their age, what type of diabetes they have, their medications, diabetes complications, and some other factors.
Below are some data regarding diabetes in the USA that were included in the report:
Frequency of doctors' visits linked to diabetes control qualityInvestigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital carried out a study which concluded that diabetes patients who had frequent meetings with their doctors were more likely to meet their treatment goals for cholesterol, blood pressure and blood glucose. Their findings were published in Archives of Internal Medicine (September 2011 issue).
The authors explained that even though physicians check their patients' hemoglobin A1C levels every three months, guidelines for diabetes care offer no suggestions on how often doctors should see their patients. Their findings may offer a solution, the researchers added, recommending that perhaps doctors should meet those with very poor diabetes control every two weeks.
Written by Christian Nordqvist
Copyright: MediLexicon International Ltd
Original article posted on Medical News Today.
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