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Diabetes Care Improving, But Still Short of Optimal

Study finds many diabetics still have poor control of blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure

TUESDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- Although the quality of diabetes care has become better over the past decade, many diabetics still have poor glycemic control, LDL cholesterol control and blood pressure control, according to a study published April 4 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Jinan Saaddine, M.D., of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed data on 1,774 diabetics from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys of 1988-1994 and 1999-2002, as well as data on 16,143 diabetics using the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System from 1995 and 2002.

Overall, the researchers found that the quality of care for diabetics has improved over the past decade, with the proportion of those with fair or good lipid control demonstrating a 21.9 percent increase. But they estimate that one in five (2.2 million) of diabetics nationwide still have poor glycemic control, two in five (3.6 million) have poor LDL cholesterol control and that one in three (3.5 million) have poor blood pressure control. They also estimate that one in three have not received annual eye or foot examinations.

"Ensuring access to and delivering high-quality care for all people with diabetes should be a national priority," the authors conclude. "Understanding how to better implement known and existing diabetes care interventions within finite resources may be the key."

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