Background: Diabetes-related morbidity and mortality are primarily attributable to complications such as heart disease, stroke, lower extremity amputation, kidney disease, blindness, and visual impairment, many of which potentially can be delayed or prevented.
Methods: We examined the association of diabetes self-management education (DSME) with preventive health practices and behaviors among 22,682 persons with type 2 diabetes using data from the 2001 and 2002 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). BRFSS is an ongoing, state-based, random-digit-dialed telephone survey of noninstitutionalized adults aged > or = 18 years.
Results: Approximately 48% of all adults with type 2 diabetes had never attended a DSME course. Among both diabetic persons who used insulin and those who did not, persons who received DSME were significantly more likely than those who had not received training to be physically active, to have received an annual dilated eye exam and flu vaccine, to have received a pneumococcal vaccine, to have checked their blood sugar daily, and to have had a physician or other health professional check their feet for sores or irritations and their hemoglobin A1C level in the past year.
Conclusions: These data indicate the importance of DSME in the promotion of health practices that could prevent or delay potential diabetes complications among persons with type 2 diabetes.