Study Shows Strides in Diabetes Care
Diabetes Patients Doing a Better Job at Meeting Blood Sugar Control Benchmark
WebMD News Archive
Jan. 15, 2008 -- There's a positive new trend among U.S. diabetes patients: better blood sugar control.
Researchers report that it's becoming more common for adults with diabetes
to meet a key diabetes benchmark: having a hemoglobin A1c level lower than
Hemoglobin A1c, checked by a blood test, gauges blood sugar control over the
past two to three months. Better blood sugar control means less chance of
A new study shows a decline in recent years in average hemoglobin A1c levels
among U.S. adults with diabetes. Here's a quick look at those averages:
- 7.82% in 1999-2000
- 7.47% in 2001-2002
- 7.18% in 2003-2004
Those numbers, based on blood tests taken by diabetes patients in national
health surveys, "may indicate that diabetes care improved dramatically
between 1999 and 2004," the study states.
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Room for Improvement
Despite the positive trend, the latest average hemoglobin A1c level noted in
the study is still above optimal levels.
The researchers' message: Keep the trend going.
"These results should not breed complacency about the need for further
efforts to achieve glycemic [blood sugar] control," write Thomas Hoerger,
PhD, of RTI International in Research Triangle Park, N.C. and colleagues.
Their findings appear in January's edition of Diabetes Care.
One of the researchers who worked on the study -- the CDC's Jinan Saaddine,
MD -- reported other
improvements in U.S. diabetes care, including better self-monitoring of
blood sugar levels.
But diabetes care isn't where experts want it to be. Last year, a government
report showed that most adults with diabetes aren't getting
three annual medical tests, including hemoglobin A1c tests.