Preventive-care services such as annual foot and dilated eye examinations and biannual A1C tests can prevent or delay amputation and blindness from diabetes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System surveys to determine the percentage of Americans with diabetes who receive these services. The report, “Prevalence of Receiving Multiple Preventive-Care Services Among Adults with Diabetes–United States, 2002–2004,” was published in the November 11, 2005, issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report and is available at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5444a5.htm.
The study showed that although the percentage of patients with diabetes who received individual preventive-care services was close to or above national targets (75 percent for foot and eye examinations and 50 percent for A1C tests), less than one half of patients reported receiving all three services. Several factors were associated with a greater likelihood of receiving these services: age 75 years or older, non-Hispanic black race, higher education, diabetes duration of 10 to 19 years, insulin use, diabetes management education, and health insurance coverage. Smoking had a negative association. Possible barriers to receiving these services may include lack of awareness, inadequate health insurance coverage, and the inability to make co-payments or visit specialists.