Achievement of goals in U.S. diabetes care, 1999-2010

N Engl J Med. 2013 Apr 25;368(17):1613-24. doi: 10.1056/NEJMsa1213829.


Background: Tracking national progress in diabetes care may aid in the evaluation of past efforts and identify residual gaps in care.

Methods: We analyzed data for adults with self-reported diabetes from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to examine risk-factor control, preventive practices, and risk scores for coronary heart disease over the 1999-2010 period.

Results: From 1999 through 2010, the weighted proportion of survey participants who met recommended goals for diabetes care increased, by 7.9 percentage points (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.8 to 15.0) for glycemic control (glycated hemoglobin level <7.0%), 9.4 percentage points (95% CI, 3.0 to 15.8) for individualized glycemic targets, 11.7 percentage points (95% CI, 5.7 to 17.7) for blood pressure (target, <130/80 mm Hg), and 20.8 percentage points (95% CI, 11.6 to 30.0) for lipid levels (target level of low-density lipoprotein [LDL] cholesterol, <100 mg per deciliter [2.6 mmol per liter]). Tobacco use did not change significantly, but the 10-year probability of coronary heart disease decreased by 2.8 to 3.7 percentage points. However, 33.4 to 48.7% of persons with diabetes still did not meet the targets for glycemic control, blood pressure, or LDL cholesterol level. Only 14.3% met the targets for all three of these measures and for tobacco use. Adherence to the recommendations for annual eye and dental examinations was unchanged, but annual lipid-level measurement and foot examination increased by 5.5 percentage points (95% CI, 1.6 to 9.4) and 6.8 percentage points (95% CI, 4.8 to 8.8), respectively. Annual vaccination for influenza and receipt of pneumococcal vaccination for participants 65 years of age or older rose by 4.5 percentage points (95% CI, 0.8 to 8.2) and 6.9 percentage points (95% CI, 3.4 to 10.4), respectively, and daily glucose monitoring increased by 12.7 percentage points (95% CI, 10.3 to 15.1).

Conclusions: Although there were improvements in risk-factor control and adherence to preventive practices from 1999 to 2010, tobacco use remained high, and almost half of U.S. adults with diabetes did not meet the recommended goals for diabetes care.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Diabetes Mellitus / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / therapy*
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin / analysis
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Patient Compliance / statistics & numerical data*
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult


  • Glycated Hemoglobin A