Skip to content

    Diabetes Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Still 'Room for Improvement' in Preventive Care of Diabetics

    By
    WebMD Health News

    Nov. 3, 1999 (Atlanta) -- The American Diabetes Association recommends that the 15.7 million diabetics in the U.S. receive annual eye exams, semi-annual foot exams, and a yearly test showing average blood sugar control. However, many diabetics are not receiving this care. Annual eye examinations for diabetics may be on the rise, but other preventive care for this population lags behind, according to a study conducted in Rhode Island by the CDC and published in the Oct. 29 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

    Complications of diabetes include blindness, kidney failure, heart disease and stroke, painful feet due to nerve damage, and leg and foot amputation. Many studies suggest that preventive care, such as a blood test (called glycosylated hemoglobin) to monitor recent blood sugar control, as well as eye and foot exams can reduce the complications of diabetes and save health care dollars.

    "In Rhode Island, the managed care organizations seem to be doing a good job [of providing preventive care], as evidenced by a very high proportion of people getting their eye exams," Venkat Narayan, MD, tells WebMD in an interview. "On the other hand, there are certain other kinds of preventive care practices, like foot exams and annual glycosylated hemoglobin assessments, where there is a lot of room for improvement. Also, ... there are specific target groups that would benefit from these improvements." Narayan was not involved in the study but is chief of the diabetes epidemiology section of the CDC in Atlanta.

    Narayan says the findings from Rhode Island, for the most part, support those around the country. "Preventive care practices have varied very widely across managed care organizations," he says. "If there is a surprising finding, it's the fairly high rates of eye exams, suggesting that there have been recent improvements."

    This study included about 400 diabetics who were receiving care from a major health maintenance organization (HMO) or major preferred provider organization (PPO) in Rhode Island. Subjects were surveyed to determine how many times in a year a health care provider had conducted a glycosylated hemoglobin, dilated eye examination, and foot examination.

    Today on WebMD

    Diabetic tools
    Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
    woman flexing muscles
    10 strength training exercises.
     
    Blood sugar test
    12 practical tips.
    Tom Hanks
    Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
     
    kenneth fujioka, md
    Video
    Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
    Article
     
    Middle aged person
    Tool
    jennie brand miller
    Video
     

    Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
    Article
    type 2 diabetes
    Slideshow
     
    food fitness planner
    Tool
    feet
    Slideshow