Time to recovery in diabetes and comorbidities following Hurricane Katrina

Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2010 Sep;4 Suppl 1:S33-8. doi: 10.1001/dmp.2010.10.


Background: The impact of a natural disaster on self-care and health care delivery has been well documented. The objective of the study was to document the recovery pattern from the impact of a natural disaster such as Hurricane Katrina on clinical and biochemical measures of diabetes and its comorbidities.

Methods: Patients were selected from Tulane University Hospital and Clinic, Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System, and the Medical Center of Louisiana at New Orleans. Adults with diabetes and A(1c) measurement 6 months before (pre-K) Hurricane Katrina (February 28, 2005-August 27, 2005) and 6 to 16 months after (post-K) Katrina (March 1, 2006-December 31, 2006) were identified within the 3 facilities. Follow-up data (January 1, 2007-December 31, 2007) were 1 year after the first post-K visit. The outcome measures were hemoglobin A(1c) (HbA(1c)), systolic and diastolic blood pressure (BP), and lipids (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol [HDL], triglycerides).

Results: Averaged across the 3 facilities, the parameters significantly different in the follow-up period compared with pre- and post-K were HbA(1c) (P = .04), HDL, and systolic and diastolic BP (P < .0001). Parameters with significantly different patterns of change in the 3 facilities over time were HbA(1c), HDL, systolic and diastolic BP (P < .0001), and low-density lipoprotein (P < .01).

Conclusions: Our results suggest that a variety of clinical and biochemical parameters related to diabetes and its comorbidities affected by natural disaster have varied the rate of recovery to predisaster levels.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Blood Pressure
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Comorbidity
  • Cyclonic Storms*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy
  • Disasters*
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / analysis
  • Humans
  • Lipoproteins, HDL / blood
  • Louisiana / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New Orleans
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / methods
  • Self Care*
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Lipoproteins, HDL
  • Triglycerides