How Much Has Diabetes Care Improved?

Diabetes care has not significantly improved over a 10-year period, according to new research. In this study, diabetes care was defined as diabetes diagnosis, linkage to care, and achievement of individual and combined treatment targets. Data from cross-sectional studies included in the 2005–2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were assessed. Specifically, data were evaluated from three time periods: 2005–2008, 2009–2012, and 2013–2016. The primary outcome was the proportion of patients overall and stratified by stratified by age, sex, and race/ethnicity who received diabetes care and met the following targets—glycemic (hemoglobin A1c < 7.0 % to 8.5 %), blood pressure (< 140/90 mm Hg), cholesterol level (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol < 100 mg/dL), and smoking abstinence—as well as a composite of all targets. In 2013–2016, of 1,742 patients diagnosed with diabetes, 94% were tied to diabetes care, 64% met the glycemic target, 70% met the blood pressure target, 57% met the cholesterol target, 85% were nonsmokers, and 23% met the composite goal. The proportion of patients who met the composite endpoint was similar in 2005–2008 (23%) and 2009–2012 (25%). Diagnosis and target achievement did not substantially improve over the study period. Patients aged ≥65 years had a better change of meeting the composite target than adults aged between 45 and 64 years, while patients aged between 18 and 44 years were less likely than middle-aged adults to meet the composite target. Women were less likely than men to reach the composite target, as were black patients compared to white patients. Patients with health insurance were the most likely to be linked to diabetes care.