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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
December 27, 2006

Self-Rated Fair or Poor Health Among Adults With Diabetes—United States, 1996-2005

JAMA. 2006;296(24):2919-2920. doi:10.1001/jama.296.24.2919

MMWR. 2006;55:1224-1227

1 figure, 1 table omitted

Diabetes mellitus affects nearly 21 million persons in the United States.1 Maintaining and improving health-related quality of life among persons with diabetes is a public health goal. Healthy People 2010 includes self-rated health as one of three surveillance tools that can be used to measure health-related quality of life.2 To assess the prevalence of self-rated fair or poor health among U.S. adults with diabetes and to identify factors associated with fair or poor health, CDC analyzed 1996-2005 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data. This report summarizes the findings of that analysis, which indicated that self-rated fair or poor health was three times more common among adults with diabetes than among those without diabetes and that the prevalence increased during 1996-2005 among young adults (i.e., aged 18-44 years) with diabetes. The results underscore the need for (1) continued interventions to promote healthy behaviors and prevent diabetes and (2) interventions for persons with diabetes to help them better manage their diabetes and prevent diabetes complications, which can increase their perceived quality of life.