SNOWMASS, COLO. — Optimal control of cardiovascular risk factors in diabetic patients in the community setting remains an elusive goal, according to the most recent data from the Framingham Heart Study.
Persons with diabetes have two to three times the rate of cardiovascular disease than do those without the disease. Aggressive control of their cardiovascular risk factors is essential to overcome this markedly increased risk. But the Framingham experience shows that it is not happening, Dr. Patrick O'Gara said at a conference sponsored by the American College of Cardiology.
A bright spot is the low prevalence of cigarette smoking, down to just under 13% during 2000–2005 in 60-year-olds with diabetes in Framingham, said Dr. O'Gara of Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston.
Hypertension is another story altogether. The prevalence of hypertension among 60-year-olds with diabetes in 2000–2005 was 87%, more than twice that of nondiabetic individuals, and essentially unchanged since 1970.
The rate of controlled hypertension was less than 27% in 60-year-old diabetic men and women in Framingham during 2000–2005, compared with 46% in those without diabetes (Circulation 2009;120:212-20).
Only 40% of diabetic individuals with high LDL cholesterol had it controlled to guideline target levels in 2000–2005. However, that's better than the 32% rate among those without diabetes, Dr. O'Gara noted.
Lastly, the prevalence of obesity among diabetic 60-year-olds in 2000–2005 was more than 67%, up sharply from 46% during the prior decade.
The Framingham Heart Study is funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Dr. O'Gara had no relevant financial interests.