Achievement of National Clinical Practice Recommendations among those in the Puerto Rican Population with Diabetes Mellitus

Efraín Rodríguez-Vigil, Migdalia Rodríguez-Chacón, Cesar Trabanco, Jessica Irizarry-Ramos


Objective: To analyze glycemic control among patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) in Puerto Rico (PR) using the 2011 American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommendations and glycemic goals as standards. We also explored other factors that are related to glycemic control. Methods: Glycemic data were obtained from 600 adults with DM from 5 different regions in PR. The patient’s health insurance coverage, type of health care provider, type of diabetes treatment, gender, age, physical activity, weight, degree of hypertension and degree and type of dyslipidemia comorbidities (when one or both were applicable), and disease duration were variables of interest. Univariate and bivariate analyses were conducted to describe the population and determine the statistical differences in the glycemic control of the subjects. Results: Fewer than half of the participants achieved the ADA-recommended levels for HbA1c (37.3%) and blood pressure (34%). However, relatively more participants met the goals for high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (51.7%), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (59.9%), and triglycerides (61.5%). The percentage of participants reaching the HbA1c, blood pressure, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol goals at the same time was 9.9%. Patients with private health insurance achieved better glycemic control than did patients in the public managed healthcare system. Half of the population presented simultaneous hypertension, dyslipidemia, and DM comorbidities. Only 50% of the participants were physically active. Conclusion: In the sample population, glycemic control levels and blood pressure levels in adults with DM were far from the ADA-recommended standards. Physical activity levels, type of medical insurance, and type of DM medical treatment were the main modifiable factors associated with the goal of attaining glycemic control. Barriers that limit the achievement of this goal should be analyzed in more detail to improve the medical care for people with DM.


Puerto Rico, diabetes, glycemic control, HbA1c levels, health insurance type

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