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Diabetics Should Adopt Better Preventive Measures

A recent study shows only 7 percent of diabetics take the proper preventative measures to avert circulation and blood vessel problems. // Researchers stressed continued negligence by diabetics increases their risk for vascular disease including retinopathy, neuropathy, nephropathy, coronary heart disease, stroke, and lower extremity amputations.

Researchers sampled nearly 1,700 adults, ages 20 years or older, who had been diagnosed with diabetes for more than a decade.They examined levels of glycosylated hemoglobin (blood glucose levels), blood pressure, and cholesterol and discovered that many patients with diabetes were not proactively managing these factors.

The research showed 37 percent of patients were above the recommended HbA1c level of 8 percent or greater, 40 percent had hypertensive blood pressure, and 52 percent had cholesterol levels of 200 mg/DL or greater. People with cholesterol levels of 200 mg/DL or greater are at borderline high risk, and sometimes even high risk, for heart disease.

Researchers conclude that, "Ongoing monitoring and measurement of the quality of care, empowering clinicians with medical decision support tools and patients with information to improve the quality of care they receive, and building incentives for providing comprehensive care into the health care delivery system are essential to translating into practice the therapies that have been proven effective in reducing the risk of vascular disease in individuals with diabetes."

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