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Young women with diabetes do not receive recommended preventive services

Research Activities, April 2009

In the United States, 8.7 percent of women aged 20 and over have diabetes. Accompanying this chronic disease is a risk of contracting other conditions, including cancer and cardiovascular, kidney, and eye disease. However, a new report finds that women with diabetes are not receiving preventive services equally. The article discusses findings from the report Women with Diabetes: Quality of Health Care, 2004-2005 (, which found that while 45.2 percent of all women with diabetes received preventive care for diabetes (hemoglobin A1c test and foot and eye exams), just 30.5 percent women under age 45 reported receiving preventive care for diabetes. In addition, just 26.5 percent women age 65 or over had well-controlled blood pressure compared with 64.4 percent of women age 18 to 44. These age disparities for women with diabetes also appeared in screenings for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers and immunizations for influenza and pneumonia.

Studies that use summary statistics to describe all women with diabetes do not paint a true picture of diabetes care because they do not address women's life stages, suggest Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) researchers Karen Kar-Yee Ho, M.H.S., Jeffrey Brady, M.D., M.P.H., and Jackie Shakeh Kaftarian, Ph.D. For this reason, the researchers conclude in this article that programs to meet the needs of younger women who have diabetes are needed. The report used data from AHRQ's Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, and the National Health Interview Survey.

See "Women with diagnosed diabetes across the life stages: Underuse of recommended preventive care services," by Michelle D. Owens, Ph.D., Gloria L.A. Beckles, M.D., M.Sc., Ms. Ho, Paul Gorrell, Ph.D., Dr. Brady, and Dr. Kaftarian in the November 2008 Journal of Women's Health 17(9), pp. 1415-1423. Reprints (AHRQ Publication No. 09-R018) are available from the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse.

Page last reviewed April 2009
Internet Citation: Young women with diabetes do not receive recommended preventive services: Research Activities, April 2009. April 2009. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.