Diabetes report card: "Needs Improvement"

May 15, 2013

According to a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Americans with diabetes had increasingly better control of their blood sugar and cholesterol levels and attended more preventive check-ups from 1999 to 2010. However, one in five Americans with diabetes still smokes, blood pressure has not improved significantly, and approximately 40 percent don't receive education at diagnosis, annual vaccinations, or annual checks for diabetes complications. 

Led by Mohammed K. Ali,  assistant professor in the departments of Global Health and Epidemiology at Emory's Rollins School of Public Health and Consultant for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the CDC team analyzed national health data of people with diabetes, collected continually from 1999 to 2010, to understand how well Americans are controlling their blood sugars, blood pressure, cholesterol, and tobacco use. These factors are the four main risk factors for major diabetes complications.

"About 18.8 million adults have diagnosed diabetes," explains Ali. "Determining whether there are improvements in controlling this disease has enormous health and economic implications."

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