An increasing number of people with type 2 diabetes in the United States are now successfully managing their condition, according to new health figures published online in Diabetes Care .
The data from the ongoing National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) reveals that adult diabetics have made improvements in controlling their blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels over the years.
Between 2007 and 2010, more than half (53%) were meeting the American Diabetes Association’s HbA1c target of less than 7%, compared to 43% in 1988-1994 and 44.1% in 1999–2002, although the figure was down slightly from 57% in 2003–2006.
The percentage of patients achieving the ADA’s blood pressure goals was 51.1% in 2007–2010, compared to 33% in 88-94 and 44.2% in 2003–2006, while 56% met the LDL (good) cholesterol targets compared with 10% twenty years ago and 48% in 2003–2006.
But according to the health survey data, only 18.8% of all adult diabetics were meeting all 3 ‘ABC’ (A1c, blood pressure, cholesterol) goals. While this represents a significant jump from the 1988–1994 figure of 1.7%, the study researchers say there is still “much room for improvement”, particularly for younger adults and some minority groups.
They conclude: “As the US population ages and diabetes prevalence increases, it becomes increasingly urgent to find ways to overcome barriers to good diabetes management and deliver affordable, quality care so those with diabetes can live a longer and healthier life without serious diabetes complications.”
The number of Americans diagnosed with diabetes currently stands at around 27 million, while a further 79 million people are believed to have pre-diabetes, which is almost always a precursor to type 2 diabetes.

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