The "ABCs of Diabetes" are defined as hemoglobin A1c < 7.0%, blood pressure < 130/80 millimeters mercury (mm Hg), and lowdensity lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) < 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg per dL). Assessments of 3-part goal attainment of A1c, blood pressure, and cholesterol have been reported using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) for several time periods (e.g., 1988-1994, 1999-2000, 1999-2002, and 2003-2004), Look Action for Health in Diabetes (Look AHEAD, 2001-2004), and community-based endocrinology practice (CBEP, 2000-2004). In 2002, an unpublished analysis of data from 2001-2002 at the Iowa City Veterans Affairs (ICVA) Medical Center found less than 50% of patients met each of the 3 individual goals. In the 5 years following the 2001-2002 assessment, the care for veterans with diabetes at the ICVA was enhanced to include (a) an increased number of diabetes classes and clinics, (b) implementation of the diabetes Care Coordination/Home Telehealth (CCHT) program, and (c) clinical reminders for diabetes performance measures that were added to the electronic medical record (EMR).
To (a) describe the prevalence of veterans meeting the ABC goals of diabetes in 1 VA medical center; (b) differentiate the proportion of diabetes patients who met the individual targets for A1c, blood pressure, and LDL-C and compare the results for 2008 through September 2009 with the earlier data from this facility (2001-2002); and (c) examine results reported previously in the literature for NHANES, Look AHEAD, and CBEP data sources.
Single-center, retrospective analysis of veterans at the ICVA for dates of service from January 1, 2008, through September 30, 2009, who (a) filled at least 1 prescription for an antidiabetic medication and (b) had each of the 3 biomarker values recorded in the EMR for A1c, blood pressure, and LDL-C after the antidiabetic prescription fill date.
Of the 5,426 (97.6% male) patients meeting inclusion criteria in 2008-2009, 17.3% (n = 936) achieved the 3-part ABC goal. In this managed care setting, achievement of the 3-part ABC goal surpassed the proportions reported in previous studies in NHANES data (5.2% in 1988-1994, 7.3% in 1999-2000, 7.0% in 1999-2002, 13.2% in 2003-2004), and 10.1% in Look AHEAD 2001-2004, but fell short of the 22.0% reported in CBEP 2000- 2004. When compared with the 2001-2002 results at ICVA, the proportion of patients achieving the individual A1c goal in 2008-2009 increased by 10.8 percentage points (from 43.2% to 54.0%), 12.6 percentage points for blood pressure (from 29.2% to 41.8%), and 17.1 percentage points for LDL-C (from 49.5% to 66.6%, P < 0.001) for the 3 individual comparisons.
The proportion of patients achieving each of the 3 goals for A1c, blood pressure, and LDL-C improved significantly in 2008-2009 compared with the 2001-2002 assessment in this medical center, following implementation of yearly clinical reminders for diabetes care, enhanced patient education, and other program changes that included home-based telephone monitoring with diabetes case management for some patients. Achievement of the 3-part ABC goal in 2008-2009 (17.3%) surpassed 5 assessments reported in the literature but was lower than the CBEP (2000- 2004) performance (22.0%).