Relationship between continuity of care and diabetes control: evidence from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

Am J Public Health. 2004 Jan;94(1):66-70. doi: 10.2105/ajph.94.1.66.


Objectives: We examined the relationship between continuity of care and diabetes control.

Methods: We analyzed data on 1400 adults with diabetes who took part in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. We examined the relationship of continuity of care with glycemic, blood pressure, and lipid control.

Results: Continuity of care was associated with both acceptable and optimal levels of glycemic control. Continuity was not associated with blood pressure or lipid control. There was no difference between having a usual site but no usual provider and having a usual provider in any of the investigated outcomes.

Conclusions: Continuity of care is associated with better glycemic control among people with diabetes. Our results do not support a benefit of having a usual provider above having a usual site of care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Pressure
  • Comorbidity
  • Continuity of Patient Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Diabetes Complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin / analysis
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • National Center for Health Statistics, U.S.
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care*
  • Preventive Health Services / organization & administration*
  • United States


  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Lipids