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Poor control of diabetes in a large sample of patients


Patients with diabetes mellitus are less likely to develop vascular complications (such as retinopathy, nephropathy and coronary artery disease) if their blood sugar levels are tightly controlled. Physicians use a simple blood test -- glycosylate hemoglobin (HBA 1c ) -- to measure control and guide therapy.

In this study, Woodward and colleagues identified over 63 000 patients in eastern Ontario with diabetes, and examined their control over their blood sugar and how often it was evaluated. During the one-year period of the study, only 58% of the patients had the test done; and of those who were tested, fewer than half were in good control of their blood sugar levels.

Testing was most common among patients 50 to 70 years old, and was least common among young adults 20 to 34 years of age. The finding that younger patients were tested least often and had poorer test results is particularly worrisome.

p. 327 Utilization and outcomes of HbA1c testing: a population-based study -- J. Hux

Dr. Jan Hux | EurekAlert!
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