Cardiovascular Disease-Specific Preventive Care

Women With Diabetes: Quality of Health Care, 2004-2005

Cholesterol

Managing cholesterol levels (reducing low-density lipoprotein [LDL]) and raising high-density lipoprotein [HDL] cholesterol) has been shown to reduce cardiovascular disease and death among people with type 2 diabetes.39 The ADA recommends that cholesterol levels be checked in adults with diabetes at least annually: optimal LDL cholesterol, less than 100 mg/dL; optimal HDL cholesterol, greater than 40 mg/dL; and optimal triglyceride level, less than 150 mg/dL.39

Women who reported having their cholesterol (lipid profile) checked in the past 2 years, by diagnosed diabetes status (left) and gender (right), 2004

Bar charts show women who reported having their cholesterol (lipid profile) checked in the past 2 years. By diagnosed diabetes status: Women with diagnosed diabetes, 96%; women without diabetes, 69%; all women, 71%. By gender: Women with diagnosed diabetes: Total, 96%; Ages 18-44, 84%; Ages 45-66, 97%; Age 65 and over, 99%. Men with diagnosed diabetes: Total, 95%; Ages 18-44, not given; Ages 45-66, 96%; Age 65 and over, 98%.

* Estimate for men ages 18-44 did not meet sample size criteria.

Source: Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, 2004.

Appendix table number: Tables 18a and 18b.

  • Women with diagnosed diabetes were significantly more likely than women without diabetes to have had a cholesterol check in the past 2 years.
  • No significant difference was found between men and women with diagnosed diabetes who reported that they had a cholesterol check in the past 2 years.

Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is very common in people with diabetes. Hypertension places individuals at increased risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetic eye disease, and kidney disease.39 The ADA recommends that blood pressure be checked at every routine diabetes visit.39 In 2004, the recommended treatment goal was 130 mm Hg/80 mm Hg.39

Women with systolic blood pressure less than 130 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure less than 80 mm Hg, by diagnosed diabetes status (left) and gender (right), 1999-2004

Bar charts show women with systolic blood pressure less than 130 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure less than 80 mm Hg. By diagnosed diabetes status: Women with diagnosed diabetes, 40%; women without diabetes, 66%; all women, 69%. By gender: Women with diagnosed diabetes: Total, 40%; Ages 18-44, 64%; Ages 45-66, 45%; Age 65 and over, 26%. Men with diagnosed diabetes: Total, 45%; Ages 18-44, 45%; Ages 45-66, 49%; Age 65 and over, 38%.

Source: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999-2004.

Appendix table number: Tables 19a and 19b.

  • Women with diagnosed diabetes were significantly less likely than women without diabetes to have blood pressure less than 130/80 mm Hg.
  • No significant difference was found between women and men with diagnosed diabetes who had blood pressure less than 130/80 mm Hg, either overall or in any age group.

Smoking

Thirteen percent of women with diagnosed diabetes smoke cigarettes, compared with 18.5% of women in the general population.44-45 People with diabetes who smoke show an increased risk of complications and death compared with those who do not smoke.39, 45 Complications, such as diabetic nerve damage and kidney disease, are also common among people with diabetes who smoke.39 The ADA recommends that people with diabetes who smoke receive smoking cessation counseling.

Women who smoked and received advice to quit smoking in the last 12 months, by diagnosed diabetes status, 2004

Bar chart shows women who smoked and received advice to quit smoking in the last 12 months by diagnosed diabetes status: Women with diagnosed diabetes, 85%; women without diabetes, 65%; all women, 67%.

Source: Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, 2004.

Appendix table number: Table 20.

Note: Estimates were not statistically reliable for adults with diabetes ages 18-44 or age 65 and over, for women with diagnosed diabetes ages 18-44 or age 65 and over, or for men with diagnosed diabetes ages 18-44 or age 65 and over.

  • Among women who smoked, women with diagnosed diabetes were significantly more likely than those without diabetes to report that they had received advice to quit smoking.
Page last reviewed November 2008
Internet Citation: Cardiovascular Disease-Specific Preventive Care: Women With Diabetes: Quality of Health Care, 2004-2005. November 2008. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/research/findings/final-reports/women-and-diabetes-2004-2005/wmdiab7.html