Preventive Care Practices
Diabetes-related complications can be serious, costly, and deadly. They include heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and kidney failure, blindness, and amputations of the legs and feet. Diabetes-related complications are more likely and more severe among people whose diabetes is not well managed and those who have had diabetes longer.
People with diabetes can better manage their condition and improve their health by following evidence-based preventive care practices recommended by ADA.23 These practices include getting regular A1C tests and annual foot and eye exams, attending diabetes self-management classes (DSMES), and monitoring their blood sugar level every day. Table 3 presents estimates of the percentage of US adults aged 18 years or older with diagnosed diabetes who reported following ADA’s recommended preventive care practices.
|State or Territory||Two or more A1C Tests in the Last Year||Foot Exam by Health Professional in the Last Year||Ever Attended a Diabetes Self-Management Class||Dilated Eye Exam in the Last Year||Daily Self-Monitoring of Blood Sugar|
|District of Columbia||76.3||69.9||58.4||70.0||64.6|
|US Virgin Islands||63.6||66.2||32.9||34.8||57.4|
Notes: Percentages are age-adjusted to the 2000 US standard population.
Data source: CDC’s United States Diabetes Surveillance System and Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.
a Data for 4 states are from 2014 because 2015 and 2016 data were not available.
b Data for 29 states are from 2015 because 2016 data were not available.
c Data for Arkansas, Idaho, Missouri, and Oregon were not available (NA) for 2014, 2015, or 2016.
Healthy People 2020, which sets national objectives for improving the health of all Americans, monitors progress toward increasing the percentage of people with diagnosed diabetes who follow preventive care practices. Table 4 shows the Healthy People 2020 targets for each practice and the all-states median percentages for each practice during 2011–2016.
|Year||Two or More A1C Tests in the Last Year||Foot Exam by Health Professional in the Last Year||Ever Attended a Diabetes Self- Management Class||Dilated Eye Exam in the Last Year||Daily Self- Monitoring of Blood Sugar|
|Healthy People 2020 Target||72.9||76.7||62.5||58.7||72.5|
Notes: Percentages are age-adjusted to the 2000 US standard population. Percentages in bold met or exceeded the Healthy People 2020 target.
Data sources: CDC’s United States Diabetes Surveillance System and Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.
Dilated eye exams were the only recommended practice that consistently met or exceeded the Healthy People 2020 target during 2011–2016. The lowest percentage was for ever attending a diabetes self-management class. DSMES can increase the use of preventive care practices, help improve quality of life for people with diabetes, and reduce health care costs by lowering the risk of complications.24
However, barriers such as not having insurance coverage, having insurance with high co-payments, and living in a rural area can make it hard for some people to participate in DSMES.17 More research may help find new ways to overcome the challenges that prevent people from accessing DSMES services and address gaps in diabetes preventive care.17
- The United States Diabetes Surveillance System is an interactive web application that provides national, state, and county diabetes data. Users can view the data in the form of customized maps, charts, or tables on desktop and mobile devices.
- The Healthy People 2020 Diabetes websiteexternal icon provides information about diabetes-specific objectives and recommended practices as part of the nation’s 10-year health agenda.
- The National Diabetes Statistics Report pdf icon[PDF – 768KB] is a CDC publication that provides updated statistics about diabetes in the United States for a scientific audience.