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Ann Intern Med. 2002 Apr 16;136(8):565-74.

A diabetes report card for the United States: quality of care in the 1990s.

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Division of Diabetes Translation, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30341, USA.



Improving diabetes care in the United States is a topic of concern.


To document the quality of diabetes care during 1988-1995.


National population-based cross-sectional surveys.


Third U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) (1988-1994) and the Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance System (BRFSS) (1995).


Participants in NHANES III (n = 1026) or BRFSS (n = 3059) who were 18 to 75 years of age and reported a physician diagnosis of diabetes. Women with gestational diabetes were excluded.


Glycemic control, blood pressure, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol level, biannual cholesterol monitoring, and annual foot and dilated eye examination, as defined by the Diabetes Quality Improvement Project.


18.0% of participants (95% CI, 15.7% to 22.3%) had poor glycemic control (hemoglobin A(1c) level > 9.5%), and 65.7% (CI, 62.0% to 69.4%) had blood pressure less than 140/90 mm Hg. Cholesterol was monitored biannually in 85.3% (CI, 83.1% to 88.6%) of participants, but only 42.0% (CI, 34.9% to 49.1%) had LDL cholesterol levels less than 3.4 mmol/L (<130 mg/dL). During the previous year, 63.3% (CI, 59.6% to 67.0%) had a dilated eye examination and 54.8% (CI, 51.3% to 58.3%) had a foot examination. When researchers controlled for age, sex, ethnicity, education, health insurance, insulin use, and duration of diabetes, insured persons were more likely than uninsured persons to have a dilated eye examination (66.5% [CI, 62.6% to 70.4%]) vs. 43.2% [CI, 29.5% to 56.9%]) and were less likely to have a hemoglobin A(1c)level greater than or equal to 9.5%. Persons taking insulin were more likely than those who were not to have annual dilated eye examination (72.2% [CI, 66.3% to 78.1%] vs. 57.6% [CI, 53.7% to 61.5%]) and foot examination (67.3% [CI, 61.4% to 73.2%] vs. 47.1% [CI, 43.2% to 51.0%]) but were also more likely to have poor glycemic control (24.2% [CI, 18.3% to 30.1%] vs. 15.5% [CI, 11.6% to 19.4%]).


According to U.S. data collected during 1988-1995, a gap exists between recommended diabetes care and the care patients actually receive. These data offer a benchmark for monitoring changes in diabetes care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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