Any Visit to the Eye Doctor in the Past 12 Months Among Adults Diagnosed With Diabetes, by Years Since Diabetes Diagnosis and by Age: United States, 2012-2013

August 5, 2015

Increasing time since diabetes diagnosis is strongly associated with severe vision loss. A comprehensive eye examination by an optometrist or ophthalmologist at least annually or biannually is recommended for persons with diabetes, to identify changes in the blood vessels of the retina. The effectiveness of treatment is well established, warranting screening for diabetic retinopathy and for assessing retinopathy progression. However, the use of select health screenings and therapeutic services may be less common in younger adults with diabetes.

A new NCHS Health E-Stat provides information on the percentage of U.S. adults with diagnosed diabetes who visited an eye doctor in the past year, by years since diabetes diagnosis and by age group, using data from the 2012–2013 National Health Interview Survey. Survey respondents were asked about having seen an “optometrist, ophthalmologist, or eye doctor” in the past year, but they were not asked about the services provided at the visit (including assessment of retinopathy).

Diabetes is the Seventh Leading Cause of Death in the U.S.

February 4, 2015

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States and it’s important to raise awareness of this ever-growing disease.

Diabetes is a disease in which blood glucose levels are above normal. Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy. The pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use its own insulin as well as it should. This causes sugar to build up in your blood.

Diabetes can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations.

In 2013, Nine percent of adults aged 18 and over have diagnosed diabetes, and more than 8 in 10 of these adults had contact with a doctor or health care professional in the past 6 months.  Also, about 14% of adults age 40 and over who have been diagnosed with diabetes are not taking medication for it.

There were 37.3 million visits to physician offices, hospital outpatient and emergency departments with diabetes as primary diagnosis from 2009 and 2010.

In 2010, there were 635,000 discharges with diabetes as first-listed diagnosis and the average length of stay was more than 4 days.

For more information on diabetes:

Office-based Physician Visits by Patients with Diabetes Increase

July 31, 2014

Diabetes is a chronic condition which affects nearly 29 million Americans and is a major cause of other chronic conditions, including heart disease, eye disease, and stroke. Diabetes was the seventh leading U.S. cause of death in 2009 and 2010. Management of diabetes costs nearly $245 billion annually, and patients with diabetes have medical expenditures approximately 2.3 times higher than those for patients without diabetes.

A new NCHS report shows the trend from 2005 through 2010 for visits to office-based physicians by patients with diabetes, and describes age differences in the utilization of health care by patients with diabetes in 2010.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • Office-based physician visits by patients with diabetes increased 20%, from 94.4 million in 2005 to 113.3 million in 2010, but the rate did not change between 2005 and 2010.
  • The visit rate for diabetes increased with age and averaged 1,380 visits per 1,000 persons aged 65 and over in 2010.
  • A majority of visits made by patients with diabetes (87%) were by those with multiple chronic conditions, and the number of chronic conditions increased with advancing age.
  • Medications were prescribed or continued at a majority of visits (85%) made by patients with diabetes, with the number of medications prescribed or continued increasing as age increased.


One in seven adults don’t know they have certain major chronic conditions

May 7, 2010

Findings from a new report, “Hypertension, High cholesterol, and Diabetes: Racial and Ethnic Prevalence Differences in US Adults, 1999-2006” were presented at last month’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) tour for members of the Association of Health Care Journalists in Chicago, IL. NHANES is a program of studies designed to assess the health and nutritional status of adults and children in the United States. The new NHANES data found that 45 percent of adults had at least one of three diagnosed or undiagnosed chronic conditions: hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, or diabetes. The report also found the following:

  • Nearly one in seven U.S. adults (15%) had one or more of these conditions undiagnosed.
  • Non-Hispanic black persons were more likely than non-Hispanic white and Mexican-American persons to have at least one of the three conditions (diagnosed or undiagnosed).
  • Non-Hispanic black and non-Hispanic white persons were more likely than Mexican-American persons to have both diagnosed or undiagnosed hypertension and hyper-cholesterolemia.
  • Non-Hispanic black and Mexican-American persons were more likely than non-Hispanic white persons to have both diagnosed or undiagnosed hypertension and diabetes.

 The graph below displays the prevalence of diagnosed or undiagnosed chronic conditions by race and ethnic groups:

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