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Diabetes Complications

patient with doctor

People with diabetes are at increased risk for many serious health problems such as eye disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, depression, neuropathy, cardiovascular disease such as heart disease and stroke, and oral health problems. Effective management of blood glucose levels can help prevent or delay these complications of diabetes.

The complications of diabetes have a variety of affects based on a person’s sex, age, ethnicity and life style.

Be sure your diabetes prevention and management efforts include providing information about the complications of diabetes.  Learn more about diabetes complications from the National Diabetes Education Program.

To prevent complications, teach employees how to control the ABCs of diabetes:

A1C: This blood test measures average blood sugar levels over the last 3 months.  The goal is less than 7% for many people, but persons with diabetes and their health care providers might set individual goals.

B: Blood pressure control:  High Blood pressure is a risk factor for heart disease.  The goal for most people is less than 140/80 mm/Hg.

C: Cholesterol: Having a high level of LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

S: Smoking and other tobacco use .  Smoking is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke and also has been associated with increased risk of complications due to diabetes, such as diabetic eye disease.
Follow the links below to helpful information.

Blood Pressure

Blood Sugar Levels

Emotional Health



Gastric System






Peripheral Arteries


Sexual Health for Men

Sexual Health for Women



Aids & Tools

Know More

  1. Learn more about the complications of diabetes from one of the following websites:

Ask More

  1. Can people with diabetes who have complications continue to work?
    People with complications of diabetes can continue to work often with only minor workplace modifications.  The situation and limitations vary from person to person. The American Diabetes Association has resources to help employers make reasonable accomodations in the workplace.  Additional resources can be found at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as well.
  2. How can I educate our workforce about diabetes complications?
    Diabetes at Work includes many lesson plans about diabetes.  Follow the links to the left of this page to the lesson plans.

Do More

  1. Consider offering screenings to detect complications of diabetes such as blood pressure checks, neuropathy, kidney disease and vision issues. Check with your health plan and local hospitals to see if screening activities are available.
  2. Offer education sessions for your workforce about the complications of diabetes.  Lesson plans are available on this Web site for your convenience in offering a session.