More N.Y. Adult Diabetics Monitor Blood Glucose Daily, a Positive Sign

ALBANY, N.Y. (Nov. 2, 2007) – More adult New Yorkers with diabetes are checking their blood glucose daily than ever before, according to a report just published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Research results in the latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) found that adult New Yorkers with diabetes who checked their blood glucose levels at least once a day increased by more than 75 percent, from 43.5 percent of diabetics to 75.6 percent between 1997 and 2006. Over 75 percent of New York respondents checked their blood glucose daily, surpassing the national average of 63 percent.

Blood glucose is the main sugar the body makes from food. Blood glucose control is critical for managing diabetes and preventing diabetes-related complications such as heart disease, kidney disease, foot and leg amputation, and retinopathy, which can lead to blindness. In fact, well-controlled blood glucose is associated with a 40 percent decrease in the risk of developing blindness, kidney disease and lower extremity amputations. Blood glucose control is also associated with a 25 percent reduction in diabetes-related deaths and 18 percent combined reduction in fatal and non-fatal heart attacks.

"Knowing blood glucose levels is critical information for people with diabetes," said New York State Commissioner of Health Richard F. Daines, M.D. "Continued education about diabetes self-management can help make certain that people have the knowledge to continue – or begin – taking steps to prevent or control diabetes."

The state Health Department works with community partners throughout the state to get important primary prevention messages to people at risk for diabetes. Estimates indicate that approximately 5 million New York adults have pre-diabetes. People with pre-diabetes have blood glucose levels higher than normal, but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. Pre-diabetes raises the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. People with pre-diabetes should visit their health care professional regularly, be physically active and make healthy food choices every day.

DOH's Diabetes Prevention and Control Program funds 15 regional Community Coalitions for Diabetes Prevention. Contact information for each coalition can be found on the DOH's Web site at www.health.ny.gov/diseases/conditions/diabetes/. The MMWR report is at: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5643a3.htm