Use of diabetes preventive care and complications risk in two African-American communities

Am J Prev Med. 2001 Oct;21(3):197-202. doi: 10.1016/s0749-3797(01)00351-8.


Background: We examined levels of diabetes preventive care services and glycemic and lipid control among African Americans with diabetes in two North Carolina communities.

Methods: Cross-sectional, population-based study of 625 African-American adults with diagnosed diabetes. Participants had a household interview to determine receipt of preventive care services including glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA(1c)), blood pressure, lipid, foot, dilated eye, and dental examinations; diabetes education; and health promotion counseling. A total of 383 gave blood samples to determine HbA(1c) and lipid values.

Results: Annual dilated eye, foot, and lipid examinations were reported by 70% to 80% of the population, but only 46% reported HbA(1c) tests. Rates of regular physical activity (31%) and daily self-monitoring of blood glucose (40%) were low. Sixty percent of the population had an HbA(1c) level >8% and one fourth had an HbA(1c) level >10%. Half of the population had a low-density lipoprotein value >130 mg/dL. Lack of insurance was the most consistent correlate of inadequate care (odds ratio [OR]=2.3; 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.3-3.9), having HbA(1c) >9.5% (OR=2.1, 95% CI=1.1-4.2), and LDL levels >130 mg/dL (OR=2.1; 95% CI=1.0-4.5).

Conclusions: Levels of diabetes preventive care services were comparable to U.S. estimates, but glycemic and lipid control and levels of self-management behaviors were poor. These findings indicate a need to understand barriers to achieving and implementing good glycemic and lipid control among African Americans with diabetes.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Black or African American*
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus / ethnology*
  • Female
  • Hemoglobin A / analysis
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / blood
  • Hyperglycemia / prevention & control
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • North Carolina
  • Patient Compliance / ethnology
  • Preventive Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Self Care


  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Hemoglobin A