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Most people with diabetes do not meet treatment goals

Less than 12 percent of people with diagnosed diabetes meet the recommended goals for blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol despite a great deal of research showing that controlling these conditions dramatically delays or prevents diabetes complications. Moreover, the percentage of people who achieve these targets has changed little in the last decade, according to a study published in the January 21, 2004, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

"More diabetes patients are taking medication to control their blood pressure and cholesterol, but too few are making needed lifestyle changes such as exercising, lowering dietary fat, and losing weight to control the risk factors for diabetes complications," noted author Dr. Catherine Cowie of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), one of the National Institutes of Health.

The researchers compared data obtained from a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults age 20 years and older with diagnosed diabetes who took part in either the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) conducted from 1988 to 1994 or the NHANES conducted from 1999 to 2000.

Participants in the later survey, though similar in age and gender, were heavier, diagnosed with diabetes younger, and more likely to be using insulin along with oral drugs to treat their diabetes. Only 37 percent (compared to 44 percent in the earlier NHANES) were achieving the American Diabetes Association's (ADA) goal for blood glucose control--a hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) blood test result of less than 7 percent. About 37 percent of participants in the later survey had HbA1c levels above 8 percent, ADA's recommended "take action" level.

Although the percentage of people with diagnosed diabetes taking blood pressure medication has risen in the last decade, only 36 percent of participants in the most recent NHANES met ADA's current blood pressure g
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Contact: Joan Chamberlain / Jane DeMouy
301-496-3583
NIH/National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
20-Jan-2004


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