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J Cardiometab Syndr. 2006 Fall;1(5):301-7.

Treatment and control of diabetes mellitus in the United States National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999-2002.

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  • 1Department of Medicine and Research Centre of Heart, Brain, Hormone and Healthy Ageing, Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.


Control of glycemia and other risk factors in people with diabetes has a critical bearing on clinical outcome. Using data from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2002, the authors compared the characteristics and control among diabetic subjects in different antidiabetic treatment groups. Among diagnosed diabetic subjects (n=827), 18.3%, 15.2%, 56.6%, and 9.6% used diet therapy alone, insulin therapy alone, oral antidiabetic drugs alone, or both insulin and oral antidiabetic drugs, respectively. The pattern of antidiabetic treatment differed by age and race/ethnicity, but not sex and status of the cardiometabolic syndrome. Only a minority of patients had satisfactory control of glycemia (38.8%), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (35.0%), and blood pressure (42.5%). Patients taking only insulin had the poorest glycemic control (15.2%), while patients using diet treatment alone (65.9%) had the best glycemic control. There is a need to improve glycemic control. Better patient education, intensive lifestyle changes, and newer therapies need to be explored.

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