In 2001, just over a third of Americans had their diabetes well controlled, based upon an A1c of seven percent or lower. In 2006, however, more than half of them had their diabetes well controlled. These are the results of a study of nearly 5 million patients performed from 2001 to 2007 by Quest Diagnostics Inc. and analyzed by Dr. Francine Kaufman of the University of Southern California.
It’s an impressive improvement, given estimates that for every one point drop in A1c, the risk of complications drops by forty percent. Most of the improvement had occurred by 2003; however, since then the average A1c has only dropped from 7.3 percent to 7.2 percent.
The study also found that men have poorer control than women and that all people with diabetes struggle more in the dark months of January through March, perhaps because we all eat more during the winter holidays.
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Source: Medline Plus
Editor’s Note: Although this study reports that women are in better control of their diabetes than men, other research shows that women are nevertheless more likely than men to die from cardiovascular complications of diabetes. See “Men With Heart Disease and Diabetes Get Better Care Than Women“, June 2007.