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Almost half of the 18 million Americans diagnosed with diabetes were unable to get their blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol under optimal control in 2006, according to the latest numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
The federal agency found that 45 percent of Americans with diabetes did not have their blood sugar and total cholesterol levels under control, while 41 percent failed to keep their blood pressure at optimal levels.
There were marked disparities by race, as only 43 percent of blacks and 38 percent of Mexican-Americans with diabetes had their blood sugar levels under control. The proportion of non-Hispanic whites who had optimal blood sugar levels was 61 percent.
Diabetes is the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S. and failure to properly manage diabetes can increase the risk of complications such as heart attack and stroke. The report only concerns the 18 million diagnosed diabetics; it is estimated another 6 million Americans may have diabetes without being aware of their condition.
Blood tests to determine cholesterol and glucose levels are readily available, providing important feedback for diabetics to keep control of those risk factors.
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