Preventive Measures Improving, But Still Not Good Enough


By: Jan Chait

Although more people with diabetes are taking measures to prevent or delay diabetes-related complications, the number still falls short of recommended national health objectives, according to a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Findings based on telephone interviews of adults with diabetes in 1995 and in 2001 show that the rates of all preventive-care practices—especially eye exams for diabetic retinopathy and self-monitoring of blood glucose—increased during that period.

People ages 65 to 74 had the greatest increase in eye exams. Men, non-Hispanic whites and people without health insurance also realized statistically significant gains in the age-adjusted rates for these exams.

Although the rate of self-monitored blood-glucose testing was lowest in the older age groups in both 1995 and 2001, people of all age groups reported substantially more testing. The age-adjusted rate rose significantly among both genders, non-Hispanic whites, Hispanics, people with at least a high school education, and those with and without health insurance.

Rates of annual foot exams increased significantly among people ages 45 to 74 and among men, non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks and people with health insurance.

According to the report, however, “use of preventive-care practices among people with diabetes in 2001 was less than recommended, and improvement is needed in all areas of diabetes care.”

—U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, November 1, 2002



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