Some Progress in Diabetes Care, More Needed

AMA Announced Initiative to Improve Outcomes in Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease

Yahoo Contributor Network

Researchers who examined data for the period 1999 through 2010 for signs of progress in diabetes care discovered both heartening information about the state of diabetes care and evidence that more progress in such care is yet needed.

Achievement of Goals in U.S. Diabetes Care 1999 Through 2010

Mohammed K. Ali, MBChB, MSc, MBA , of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and fellow researchers examined data for adults with self-reported diabetes from two databases of information for the period between 1999 through 2010. Researchers were interested in both the status of diabetes care in adequate control of the chronic disease and in risk factors, preventive practices and risk scores for coronary heart disease.

Overall there was an increase of glycemic control measured by the lab test HgbA1c by 7.9 percent over the previous study period and an increase in the number of individual glycemic goals for diabetes patients by 9.4 percent. Even though these observations point to a positive trend in diabetes care and patient compliance, the research also revealed that "almost half of the adult Americans with diabetes did not meeting recommended goals for diabetes care."

In regards to the various risk factors for coronary heart disease, data revealed that the adults with diabetes demonstrated improvement in blood pressure by 11.7 percent and there was a 20.8 percent increase in improvement of lipid levels. Tobacco use in the group studied remained unchanged throughout the study period.

Of all the individuals studied, as few as 33.4 percent met the target goals for blood sugar, blood pressure, and LDL cholesterol levels. Only 14.3 percent overall met the target goals for all three areas and tobacco use.

American Medical Association Provides Funding for Preventive Health Care Initiative

Earlier this week, the American Medical Association , AMA, announced its first phase of initiatives intended to improve health outcomes. The first phase of what was revealed to be a multi-year, multi-million dollar initiative will begin by working toward the prevention of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes in addition to improving health outcomes for those already with these conditions.

The AMA plans to reach its goals by teaming up with existing national programs, teaming with new partners to reduce high blood pressure and prevent prediabetes from progressing into type 2 diabetes, and bringing physicians and patients together to focus on the prevention and control of both heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

One of the new partnerships that will be promoted is that of physician referrals to the YMCA for those diagnosed with prediabetes so the individuals can take part in and benefit from the evidence-based diabetes prevention programs offered by the Y .

Ali, from the CDC, explained to Medscape.com that he is encouraged by the AMA's announcement and believes that with the increased intensity physicians will have toward to the prevention and control of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, patients' health will benefit.

Bottom Line

It's encouraging that there have been some improvements noted in recent years in the control of blood sugar and blood pressure, but there is much more to be accomplished. Money and initiatives alone won't result in better health unless each individual takes a more active part in improving and maintaining his own health -- and becomes an active partner in the health care team.

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