Improved cholesterol control was likely due to the increase in the use of statins, a type of cholesterol-lowering drug, from about 4 percent of people with diabetes during 1988-1994 to 51 percent during 2007-2010. Glucose control was worse in Mexican-Americans and in younger adults. Only 44 percent of Mexican-Americans met A1C goals, versus 53 percent of whites and blacks in 2007-2010 data. People between 20-49 years old were less likely to meet A1C goals than older people.
"It is particularly disturbing that good control was seen less frequently in young people," said Judith Fradkin, M.D., director of the NIDDK Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolic Diseases. "Research has shown that good diabetes control early in the course of disease has long-lasting benefits reducing the risk of complications. For people with long life expectancy after diagnosis of diabetes, it's especially important to focus on meeting diabetes management goals as early as possible, because with that longer life comes a greater chance of developing complications if they do not control their diabetes."
"Not only do Mexican-Americans and non-Hispanic blacks have higher rates of diabetes, members of these groups who develop diabetes also have poorer health outcomes," said the paper's first author, Sarah Stark Casagrande, Ph.D., an epidemiologist from Social & Scientific Systems Inc., Silver Spring, Md., whose work is supported by NIDDK. "While diabetes control has improved in these populations, some disparities remain, demonstrating the need for improved management of the disease to prevent its devastating complications."
Goals for A1C, blood pressure, and cholesterol must be individualized for people with diabetes, as effects of diabetes can differ depending on a person's age, type of diabetes, diabetes medications, complication
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NIH/National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases