Background: For patients with diabetes, clinical practice guidelines recommend treating to a low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) goal of < 2.59 mmol/L (100 mg/dL) and a blood pressure (BP) target of <130/80 mmHg. This analysis assessed recent trends in the utilization of lipid-lowering and BP-lowering agents, as well as LDL-C and BP goal attainment, in the U.S. adult diabetic population.
Methods: 9,167 men and nonpregnant women aged ≥ 20 years were identified from the fasting subsample of the 1999-2008 National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey. Diabetes was identified in 1,214 participants by self report, self-reported use of insulin or oral medications for diabetes, or fasting glucose ≥ 6.99 mmol/L (126 mg/dL).
Results: The prevalence of diagnosed or undiagnosed diabetes increased significantly over the past decade, from 7.4% in 1999-2000 to 11.9% in 2007-2008 (P = 0.0007). During this period, the use of lipid-lowering agents by participants with diabetes increased from 19.5% to 42.2% (P < 0.0001), and the proportion at LDL-C goal increased from 29.7% to 54.4% (P < 0.0001). Although there was a significant increase in antihypertensive medication use (from 35.4% to 58.9%; P < 0.0001), there was no significant change in the proportion of participants at BP goal (from 47.6% to 55.1%; P = 0.1333) or prevalence of hypertension (from 66.6% to 74.2%; P = 0.3724).
Conclusions: The proportion of diabetic individuals taking lipid- and BP-lowering agents has increased significantly in recent years. However, while there has been a significant improvement in LDL-C goal attainment, nearly one-half of all U.S. adults with diabetes are not at recommended LDL-C or BP treatment goals.