The percentage of patients with diabetes who are managing to control their condition has been growing since the late 1980s, according to findings from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). But although the increase—from about 2% in 1988 to just under 20% in 2010—is substantial, the fact remains that a large majority of patients have yet to achieve tight control of their diabetes.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) sets goals for controlling diabetes based on a combination of key therapeutic targets. During the study period, the ADA recommended that most adults with diabetes achieve a hemoglobin A1C concentration of less than 7.0% for glycemic control; keep blood pressure to less than 130/80 mm Hg to minimize microvascular, cardiovascular, and stroke risk; and reduce low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels to less than 100 mg/dL for cardiovascular protection. The goals are known as the ABCs (A1C number, blood pressure, and cholesterol), a mnemonic intended to remind patients to monitor and treat these risk factors of diabetes.
Mitka M. More Patients Get Good Diabetes Control, but Only a Minority Meet All Goals. JAMA. 2013;309(13):1335-1336. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.2414