Racial and ethnic differences in glycemic control of adults with type 2 diabetes.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate glycemic control in a representative sample of U.S. adults with type 2 diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: The Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey included national samples of non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks, and Mexican Americans aged > or = 20 years. Information on medical history and treatment of diabetes was obtained to determine those who had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes by a physician before the survey (n = 1,480). Fasting plasma glucose and HbA1c were measured, and the frequencies of sociodemographic and clinical variables related to glycemic control were determined. RESULTS: A higher proportion of non-Hispanic blacks were treated with insulin and a higher proportion of Mexican Americans were treated with oral agents compared with non-Hispanic whites, but the majority of adults in each racial or ethnic group (71-83%) used pharmacologic treatment for diabetes. Use of multiple daily insulin injections was more common in whites. Blood glucose self-monitoring was less common in Mexican Americans, but most patients had never self-monitored. HbA1c values in the nondiabetic range were found in 26% of non-Hispanic whites, 17% of non-Hispanic blacks, and 20% of Mexican Americans. Poor glycemic control (HbA1c > 8%) was more common in non-Hispanic black women (50%) and Mexican-American men (45%) compared with the other groups (35-38%), but HbA1c for both sexes and for all racial and ethnic groups was substantially higher than normal levels. Those with HbA1c > 8% included 52% of insulin-treated patients and 42% of those taking oral agents. There was no relationship of glycemic control to socioeconomic status or access to medical care in any racial or ethnic group. CONCLUSIONS: These data indicate that many patients with type 2 diabetes in the U.S. have poor glycemic control, placing them at high risk of diabetic complications. Non-Hispanic black women, Mexican-American men, and patients treated with insulin and oral agents were disproportionately represented among those in poor glycemic control. Clinical, public health, and research efforts should focus on more effective methods to control blood glucose in patients with diabetes. (+info
Effect of home blood glucose monitoring on the management of patients with non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus in the primary care setting.
The purpose of the study was to determine whether blood glucose monitoring strips influence the management of patients with non-insulin dependent diabetes (NIDDM) in the primary care setting. The medical records of 115 patients with NIDDM taking a sulfonylurea drug (oral hypoglycemic agent) during the review period were randomly selected for review. Patients were divided into two groups: those who did not receive a prescription for blood glucose monitoring strips during 1995 and 1996 and those who did for the same 2 years. The main outcome measures were hemoglobin A1c, blood sugar, number of laboratory tests ordered, and number and type of treatment interventions. No statistically significant differences between groups were noted for any measured parameter. Glucose control was independent of number of strips dispensed. Home glucose monitoring strips did not affect the management of patients with NIDDM taking a sulfonylurea agent in the primary care setting. (+info
Biopsychobehavioral model of risk of severe hypoglycemia. Self-management behaviors.
OBJECTIVE: To identify self-management antecedents of low blood glucose (BG) (< 3.9 mmol/l) that might be easily recognized, treated, or avoided altogether. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Ninety-three adults with type 1 diabetes (age, 35.8 +/- 8 years [mean +/- SD]; duration of diabetes, 17.0 +/- 11 years; daily insulin dose, 0.58 +/- 0.18 U/kg; and HbAlc, 8.6 +/- 1.8%) were recruited to participate in the study. Of the 93 subjects, 42 had a history of severe hypoglycemia (SH), defined as two or more hypoglycemic episodes in the preceding 12 months, and 51 subjects had no history of SH (No-SH) in the same time period. Before each of 70 BG measurements obtained over a 3-week period, subjects used a handheld computer to record whether their most recent insulin, food, and exercise was more than, less than, or the same as usual. Associations among self-management behaviors preceding BG readings < 3.9 mmol/l versus those preceding BG readings of 5.6-7.8 mmol/l were determined using chi 2 tests, analyses of variance, and logistic regression analyses. RESULTS: Analysis of 6,425 self-management/self-monitoring of BG events revealed that the usual amounts of insulin, food, and exercise preceded the events 58.3% of the time. No significant differences were observed for changes in insulin before readings of BG < 3.9 mmol/l versus 7.8 < BG > 5.6 mmol/l, but significantly less food (P < 0.01) was eaten and more exercise (P < 0.001) was performed before the low BG measurement. No interactions between SH and No-SH groups and management behaviors were observed. However, each of the three management variables entered significantly in a logistic model that predicted 61% of all readings of BG < 3.9 mmol/l. CONCLUSIONS: Subjects with a history of SH did not report managing their diabetes differently from those with no such history. Specifically, when low BG occurred, the preceding management behaviors, although predictive of low BG, were not different in SH and No-SH subjects. Overall, self-management behaviors did not distinguish SH from No-SH subjects. Thus, even though it might be beneficial for all patients to review their food and exercise management decisions to reduce their frequency of low BG, an educational intervention whose content stresses insulin, food, and exercise would be unlikely by itself to be sufficient to reduce the frequency of SH. (+info
What do internal medicine residents need to enhance their diabetes care?
OBJECTIVE: To identify areas that should be targeted for improvement in care, we examined internal medicine resident practice patterns and beliefs regarding diabetes in a large urban hospital outpatient clinic. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Internal medicine residents were surveyed to assess the frequency at which they performed key diabetes quality of care indicators. Responses were compared with recorded performance derived from chart and laboratory database reviews. Resident attitudes about diabetes were determined using the Diabetes Attitude Survey for Practitioners. Finally, an eight-item scale was used to assess barriers to diabetes care. RESULTS: Both self-described and recorded performance of recommended diabetes services short of national recommendations. For yearly eye examinations and lipid screening, recorded performance levels were similar to trainees' reports. However, documented inquiries about patient self-monitoring of blood glucose, performance of foot examinations, and urine protein screening were lower than trainees' reports. Some 49% of the residents selected a target HbA1c of 6.6-7.5% as an attainable goal, yet half of the patients using oral agents or insulin had HbA1c values > 8.0%. No differences in self-described or recorded performance were found by year of training. Most residents did not perceive themselves to need additional training related to diabetes care, and residents were generally neutral about patient autonomy. Patient nonadherence and time constraints within the clinic were most often cited as barriers to care. CONCLUSIONS: The study identifies several areas that require improvement in resident care of diabetes in the ambulatory setting. Because experience during training contributes to future practice patterns, developing a program that teaches trainees how to implement diabetes practice guidelines and methods to achieve optimal glycemic control may be key to future improvements in the quality of diabetes care. (+info
An office-based intervention to maintain parent-adolescent teamwork in diabetes management. Impact on parent involvement, family conflict, and subsequent glycemic control.
OBJECTIVE: To design and evaluate an office-based intervention aimed at maintaining parent-adolescent teamwork in diabetes management tasks without increasing diabetes-related family conflict. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: There were 85 patients (aged 10-15 years, mean 12.6 years) with type 1 diabetes (mean duration 5.5 years; mean HbA1c 8.5%) who were randomly assigned to one of three study groups--teamwork, attention control, and standard care--and followed for 24 months. At each visit, parent involvement in insulin administration and blood glucose monitoring was assessed. The teamwork and attention control interventions were integrated into routine ambulatory visits over the first 12 months (four medical visits). Measures of diabetes-related family conflict were collected at baseline and after 12 months. All patients were followed for an additional 12 months with respect to glycemic control. RESULTS: In the teamwork group, there was no major deterioration (0%) in parent involvement in insulin administration, in contrast to 16% major deterioration in the combined comparison (attention control and standard care) group (P < 0.03). Similarly, no teamwork families showed major deterioration in parent involvement with blood glucose monitoring versus 11% in the comparison group (P < 0.07). On both the Diabetes Family Conflict Scale and the Diabetes Family Behavior Checklist, teamwork families reported significantly less conflict at 12 months. An analysis of HbA1c over the 12- to 24-month follow-up period indicated that more adolescents in the teamwork group (68%) than in the comparison group (47%) improved their HbA1c (P < 0.07). CONCLUSIONS: The data demonstrate that parent involvement in diabetes management tasks can be strengthened through a low-intensity intervention integrated into routine follow-up diabetes care. Moreover, despite increased engagement between teen and parent centered around diabetes tasks, the teamwork families showed decreased diabetes-related family conflict. Within the context of a broader cultural recognition of the protective function of parent involvement in the lives of adolescents, the findings of this study reinforce the potential value of a parent-adolescent partnership in managing chronic disease. (+info
Type 2 diabetes: incremental medical care costs during the first 8 years after diagnosis.
OBJECTIVE: To describe and analyze the time course of medical care costs caused by type 2 diabetes, from the time of diagnosis through the first 8 postdiagnostic years. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: From electronic health maintenance organization (HMO) records, we ascertained the ongoing medical care costs for all members with type 2 diabetes who were newly diagnosed between 1988 and 1995. To isolate incremental costs (costs caused by the diagnosis of diabetes), we subtracted the costs of individually matched HMO members without diabetes from costs of members with diabetes. RESULTS: The economic burden of diabetes is immediately apparent from the time of diagnosis. In year 1, total medical costs were 2.1 times higher for patients with diabetes compared with those without diabetes. Diabetes-associated incremental costs (type 2 diabetic costs minus matched costs for people without diabetes) averaged $2,257 per type 2 diabetic patient per year during the first 8 postdiagnostic years. Annual incremental costs varied relatively little over the period but were higher during years 1, 7, and 8 because of higher-cost hospitalizations for causes other than diabetes or its complications. CONCLUSIONS: For the first 8 years after diabetes diagnosis, patients with type 2 diabetes incurred substantially higher costs than matched nondiabetic patients, but those high costs remained largely flat. Once the growth in costs due to general aging is controlled for, it appears that diabetic complications do not increase incremental costs as early as is commonly believed. Additional research is needed to better understand how diabetes and its diagnosis affect medical care costs over longer periods of time. (+info
Quality of life in type 2 diabetic patients is affected by complications but not by intensive policies to improve blood glucose or blood pressure control (UKPDS 37). U.K. Prospective Diabetes Study Group.
OBJECTIVE: To determine in patients with type 2 diabetes the effects on quality of life (QOL) of therapies for improving blood glucose control and for improving blood pressure (BP) control, diabetic complications, and hypoglycemic episodes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: We performed two cross-sectional studies of patients enrolled in randomized controlled trials of 1) an intensive blood glucose control policy compared with a conventional blood glucose control policy, and 2) a tight BP control policy compared with a less tight BP control policy. Also undertaken was a longitudinal study of patients in a randomized controlled trial of an intensive blood glucose control policy compared with a conventional blood glucose control policy. Subjects' QOL was assessed before or at the time of randomization and from 6 months to 6 years after randomization. Two cross-sectional samples of type 2 diabetic patients were randomized to therapies for blood glucose control: 1) 2,431 patients, mean age 60, duration from randomization 8.0 years, completed a "specific" questionnaire covering four aspects of QOL, and 2) 3,104 patients, mean age 62, duration from randomization 11 years, completed a "generic" QOL measure. Of these samples, 628 and 747 patients, respectively, were also randomized to therapies for BP control. A sample of 122 non-diabetic control subjects, average age 62, were also given the specific questionnaire. A longitudinal sample of 374 type 2 diabetic patients randomized to either intensive or conventional blood glucose policies, mean age at randomization 52, were given the specific questionnaire. Sample-sizes at 6 months and 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 years after randomization were 322, 307, 280, 253, 225, 163, and 184, respectively. The specific questionnaire assessed specific domains of QOL, including mood disturbance (Profile of Mood State), cognitive mistakes (Cognitive Failures Questionnaire), symptoms, and work satisfaction; the generic questionnaire (EQ5D) assessed general health. Both questionnaires were self-administered. RESULTS: The cross-sectional studies showed that allocated therapies were neutral in effect, with neither improvement nor deterioration in QOL scores for mood, cognitive mistakes, symptoms, work satisfaction, or general health. The longitudinal study also showed no difference in QOL scores for the specific domains assessed, other than showing marginally more symptoms in patients allocated to conventional than to intensive policy. In the cross-sectional studies, patients who had had a macrovascular complication in the last year had worse general health, as measured by the generic questionnaire, than those without complications, with scale scores median 60 and 78 respectively (P = 0.0006) and tariff scores median 0.73 and 0.83 respectively (P = 0.0012); more problems with mobility, 64 and 36%, respectively (P < 0.0001); and more problems with usual activities, 48 and 28% respectively (P = 0.0023). As measured by the specific questionnaire, they also showed reduced vigor (P = 0.0077). Patients who had had a microvascular complication in the last year reported more tension (P = 0.0082) and total mood disturbance (P = 0.0054), as measured by the specific questionnaire, than patients without complications. Patients treated with insulin who had had two or more hypoglycemic episodes during the previous year reported more tension (P = 0.0023), more overall mood disturbance (P = 0.0009), and less work satisfaction (P = 0.0042), as measured by the specific questionnaire, than those with no hypoglycemic attacks, after adjusting for age, duration from randomization, systolic BP, HbA1c, and sex in a multivariate polychotomous regression. CONCLUSIONS: In patients with type 2 diabetes, complications of the disease affected QOL, whereas therapeutic policies shown to reduce the risk of complications had no effect on QOL. It cannot be discerned whether frequent hypoglycemic episodes affect QOL, or whether patients with certain p (+info
Frequency of blood glucose monitoring in relation to glycaemic control: observational study with diabetes database.
OBJECTIVES: To investigate patterns of self monitoring of blood glucose concentration in diabetic patients who use insulin and to determine whether frequency of self monitoring is related to glycaemic control. SETTING: Diabetes database, Tayside, Scotland. SUBJECTS: Patients resident in Tayside in 1993-5 who were using insulin and were registered on the database and diagnosed with insulin dependent (type 1) or non-insulin dependent (type 2) diabetes before 1993. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Number of glucose monitoring reagent strips dispensed (reagent strip uptake) derived from records of prescriptions. First recorded haemoglobin A1c concentration in the study period, and reagent strips dispensed in the previous 6 months. RESULTS: Among 807 patients with type 1 diabetes, 128 (16%) did not redeem any prescriptions for glucose monitoring reagent strips in the 3 year study period. Only 161 (20%) redeemed prescriptions for enough reagent strips to test glucose daily. The corresponding figures for the 790 patients with type 2 diabetes who used insulin were 162 (21%; no strips) and 131 (17%; daily tests). Reagent strip uptake was influenced both by age and by deprivation category. There was a direct relation between uptake and glycaemic control for 258 patients (with recorded haemoglobin A1c concentrations) with type 1 diabetes. In a linear regression model the decrease in haemoglobin A1c concentration for every extra 180 reagent strips dispensed was 0.7%. For the 290 patients with type 2 diabetes who used insulin there was no such relation. CONCLUSIONS: Self monitoring of blood glucose concentration is associated with improved glycaemic control in patients with type 1 diabetes. Regular self monitoring in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes is uncommon. (+info