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AJMC Study: Among Diabetics, More Weight Equals Less Optimal Blood Pressure, A1C Levels


A large-scale study by Kaiser Permanente Southern California, published by AJMC, found that the more overweight the diabetic, the less controlled the patient's blood pressure and A1C level.


AJMC Study: Among Diabetics, More Weight Equals Less Optimal Blood Pressure, A1C Levels

PLAINSBORO, N.J. — With 26 million Americans diagnosed with diabetes and the incidence of diabetes tracking obesity geographically, the link between the two conditions is beyond dispute. So, researchers at Kaiser Permanente’s Southern California (KPSC) plan set out to determine whether overweight and obese patients with diabetes were more or less likely to seek health screenings associated with diabetes once they knew they had the condition.

The large scale study, published online this month by The American Journal of Managed Care, found that the Kaiser patients with diabetes consumed more healthcare services by ordering more screenings, and the higher the patients’ weight, the less optimal their blood pressure and A1C levels.

The AJMC study examined 164,721 patients enrolled in KPSC from July 1, 2007, to June 30, 2008, and asked whether obese patients — those with a body mass index (BMI) of greater than 30 -- would be less likely to seek common screenings for blood pressure, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and retinal examinations. Prior studies had shown that overweight patients may avoid screenings generally; the question was whether those with diabetes would seek care.

The Kaiser results published by AJMC found the diabetic patients not only sought care; the more obese patients sought the most care and had the most difficulty maintaining control of their blood pressure and A1C levels. In fact, while overweight and obese patients were more likely to have screenings performed, they were less likely to have their blood pressure and A1C levels controls. Of note, however, LDL cholesterol control levels increased along with BMI.

According to the authors, the findings highlight the need for interventions to improve glycemic and blood pressure control among overweight and obese patients with diabetes, as both conditions have reached epidemic levels in the United States. For the full study, click here.

CONTACT: Nicole Beagin (609) 716-7777 x 131



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