Use of diabetes preventive care and complications risk in two African-American communities

E W Gregg, L S Geiss, J Saaddine, A Fagot-Campagna, G Beckles, C Parker, W Visscher, T Hartwell, L Liburd, K M Narayan, M M Engelgau
American Journal of Preventive Medicine 2001, 21 (3): 197-202

BACKGROUND: We examined levels of diabetes preventive care services and glycemic and lipid control among African Americans with diabetes in two North Carolina communities.

METHODS: Cross-sectional, population-based study of 625 African-American adults with diagnosed diabetes. Participants had a household interview to determine receipt of preventive care services including glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA(1c)), blood pressure, lipid, foot, dilated eye, and dental examinations; diabetes education; and health promotion counseling. A total of 383 gave blood samples to determine HbA(1c) and lipid values.

RESULTS: Annual dilated eye, foot, and lipid examinations were reported by 70% to 80% of the population, but only 46% reported HbA(1c) tests. Rates of regular physical activity (31%) and daily self-monitoring of blood glucose (40%) were low. Sixty percent of the population had an HbA(1c) level >8% and one fourth had an HbA(1c) level >10%. Half of the population had a low-density lipoprotein value >130 mg/dL. Lack of insurance was the most consistent correlate of inadequate care (odds ratio [OR]=2.3; 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.3-3.9), having HbA(1c) >9.5% (OR=2.1, 95% CI=1.1-4.2), and LDL levels >130 mg/dL (OR=2.1; 95% CI=1.0-4.5).

CONCLUSIONS: Levels of diabetes preventive care services were comparable to U.S. estimates, but glycemic and lipid control and levels of self-management behaviors were poor. These findings indicate a need to understand barriers to achieving and implementing good glycemic and lipid control among African Americans with diabetes.

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