Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Diabetes Health Center

Font Size

Study Shows Strides in Diabetes Care

Diabetes Patients Doing a Better Job at Meeting Blood Sugar Control Benchmark
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

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 7%.

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 diabetes complications.

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.

(What has made a difference in YOUR life with diabetes? Join the discussion on WebMD's Type 2 Diabetes Support Group message board.)

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.

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
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Middle aged person
Home Healthcare

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
type 2 diabetes
food fitness planner