Diabetes control falling short among African Americans

October 01, 2001

Behavioral changes and improved preventive measures are required to rein in poorly controlled blood sugar and cholesterol in African Americans with diabetes, according to a study published in the October issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Participants in the study had access to similar levels of diabetes care as shown in previous national studies, but levels of diabetes control and self-management behaviors were low, says lead author Edward W. Gregg, Ph.D., an epidemiologist with CDC's diabetes prevention and control program. Poor control of blood sugar and cholesterol puts people with diabetes at increased risk for complications such as kidney, eye and heart disease as well as limb amputation.

"These findings indicate a need to understand barriers to achieving and implementing good glycemic and lipid control among African-Americans with diabetes," he says.

The study included 625 people from Raleigh and Greensboro. They averaged about 59 years old, and 65 percent were women. All were interviewed at home about their health habits and self-management activities. Some also gave a blood sample. Residents in the community had received self-management and diabetes education materials as well as health promotion counseling.

Gregg and his colleagues found that 70 percent to 80 percent of study participants had received some of the recommended annual exams, but only 18 percent reported having them all. Fewer than half said they had the important blood test that checks for levels of glycosolated hemoglobin.

In addition, 31 percent reported having regular physical activity, while 41 percent engaged in daily self-monitoring of glucose levels, and 25 percent said they had never conducted such monitoring. Forty-percent of the men and 58 percent of the women were obese, and 25 percent of the total group were smokers.

Among the 383 study participants who gave a blood sample, glucose levels were acceptable in only 20 percent. Cholesterol levels were too high in at least half, and nearly 25 percent had total cholesterol readings over 240, the point at which medication is usually recommended.

Levels of diabetes preventive care services such as screening tests for eye and foot problems were similar to national estimates obtained from previous studies, but there were other preventive services that were lacking, such as tests for levels of glycosylated hemoglobin. Also few of those surveyed had received education on how to manage their diabetes.

"In summary, the receipt of preventive care services during 1997 among African-Americans in these communities was comparable to national estimates, but the benefits of this care, as evidenced by glycemic and lipid control, was often inadequate for good health and to prevent future complications," says Gregg.

The American Diabetes Association recommends that all people with diabetes receive regular medical care, including cholesterol, eye and foot examinations. In addition, people are urged to frequently monitor their glucose levels frequently, engage in frequent exercise, keep their weight under control and refrain from smoking.
-end-
The American Journal of Preventive Medicine, sponsored by the Association of Teachers of Preventive Medicine and the American College of Preventive Medicine, is published eight times a year by Elsevier Science. The Journal is a forum for the communication of information, knowledge and wisdom in prevention science, education, practice and policy. For more information about the Journal, contact the editorial office at 619-594-7344.

Posted by the Center for the Advancement of Health . For more research news and information, go to our special section devoted to health and behavior in the "Peer-Reviewed Journals" area of Eurekalert!, http://www.eurekalert.org/restricted/reporters/journals/cfah. For information about the Center, call Ira Allen, iallen@cfah.org, 202-387-2829.

Center for Advancing Health

Related Diabetes Articles from Brightsurf:

New diabetes medication reduced heart event risk in those with diabetes and kidney disease
Sotagliflozin - a type of medication known as an SGLT2 inhibitor primarily prescribed for Type 2 diabetes - reduces the risk of adverse cardiovascular events for patients with diabetes and kidney disease.

Diabetes drug boosts survival in patients with type 2 diabetes and COVID-19 pneumonia
Sitagliptin, a drug to lower blood sugar in type 2 diabetes, also improves survival in diabetic patients hospitalized with COVID-19, suggests a multicenter observational study in Italy.

Making sense of diabetes
Throughout her 38-year nursing career, Laurel Despins has progressed from a bedside nurse to a clinical nurse specialist and has worked in medical, surgical and cardiac intensive care units.

Helping teens with type 1 diabetes improve diabetes control with MyDiaText
Adolescence is a difficult period of development, made more complex for those with Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM).

Diabetes-in-a-dish model uncovers new insights into the cause of type 2 diabetes
Researchers have developed a novel 'disease-in-a-dish' model to study the basic molecular factors that lead to the development of type 2 diabetes, uncovering the potential existence of major signaling defects both inside and outside of the classical insulin signaling cascade, and providing new perspectives on the mechanisms behind insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes and possibly opportunities for the development of novel therapeutics for the disease.

Tele-diabetes to manage new-onset diabetes during COVID-19 pandemic
Two new case studies highlight the use of tele-diabetes to manage new-onset type 1 diabetes in an adult and an infant during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Genetic profile may predict type 2 diabetes risk among women with gestational diabetes
Women who go on to develop type 2 diabetes after having gestational, or pregnancy-related, diabetes are more likely to have particular genetic profiles, suggests an analysis by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions.

Maternal gestational diabetes linked to diabetes in children
Children and youth of mothers who had gestational diabetes during pregnancy are at increased risk of diabetes themselves, according to new research published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Two diabetes medications don't slow progression of type 2 diabetes in youth
In youth with impaired glucose tolerance or recent-onset type 2 diabetes, neither initial treatment with long-acting insulin followed by the drug metformin, nor metformin alone preserved the body's ability to make insulin, according to results published online June 25 in Diabetes Care.

People with diabetes visit the dentist less frequently despite link between diabetes, oral health
Adults with diabetes are less likely to visit the dentist than people with prediabetes or without diabetes, finds a new study led by researchers at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing and East Carolina University's Brody School of Medicine.

Read More: Diabetes News and Diabetes Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.