Objective: To obtain data on glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels and a variety of epidemiologic variables in patients with type 2 diabetes living in the western United States.
Methods: This study was a noncomparative, multicenter, epidemiologic survey. Data were collected from consecutively enrolled patients at nine separate primary-care sites. Patients were eligible for inclusion if they had type 2 diabetes, were between 35 and 70 years old, and had received oral antidiabetic therapy, insulin, or both for at least 3 months before enrollment.
Results: Of 602 patients enrolled in the study, 588 were included in the final univariate analyses. The overall mean HbA1c level was 8.2%; however, only 20.4% of patients achieved the American Diabetes Association (ADA) strict HbA1c target of <7.0%. On the other extreme, only 18.9% of patients had HbA1c levels of greater than or equal to 9.5%. Patients treated with insulin had the highest HbA1c levels. Combination therapies were used in 59% of patients, and only 12% were treated with insulin alone.
Conclusion: The mean HbA1c level in this study is lower than in prior surveys. The use of combination therapy for the management of type 2 diabetes has increased, and the use of insulin as monotherapy has decreased. Although more patients need to reach the ADA HbA1c target of <7.0%, extremely high HbA1c levels are less common than they were in the past. This finding suggests that HbA1c levels are declining, although many patients still have values above 7.0%.