Room for Improvement in Knowledge of ABC Levels, Goals
(HealthDay News) – Many individuals with diabetes do not know their last hemoglobin A1c (A1c), blood pressure, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels (ABC levels).
Sarah Stark Casagrande, PhD, of Social and Scientific Systems in Silver Spring, MD and colleagues analyzed data from 1,233 adults with self-reported diabetes who participated in the 2005–2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The last ABC levels and goals specified by physicians were self-reported and were not validated through medical records.
The researchers found that 48% of participants knew their last A1c level, 63% knew their last blood pressure level, and 22% knew their last LDL cholesterol level. Non-Hispanic whites had the greatest knowledge of their ABC levels and physician-specified ABC goals, which was also significantly higher among participants with more education and income. ABC level knowledge was lowest in Mexican-Americans. Nineteen, 47, and 41% of participants reported that their provider did not specify an A1c, blood pressure, or LDL cholesterol goal, respectively. Eighty-three percent of those who reported having an A1c <7% actually had A1c <7%. Participant knowledge of their last ABC level was only associated with meeting ABC goals in the case of people who knew their last LDL cholesterol level (P=0.046 for A1c <7%).
"Ample opportunity exists to improve ABC knowledge," the authors write. "Diabetes education should include behavior change components in addition to information on ABC clinical measures."