Health Topic: Diabetes
Diabetes affects many American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN). In fact, between 1997 and 2003, the number of AI/AN patients who
have diabetes and get their health care from IHS increased by 41%. The high costs of health care along with more patients getting
diabetes represent a challenge for IHS.
Between the years of 2002 and 2004, the number of deaths from diabetes in the AI/AN population was almost 3 times higher than all
Patients who have diabetes also are more likely to have heart disease (Cardiovascular Disease), which affects the heart and blood
vessels. Heart disease is the number one cause of death for AI/AN patients. It is very important for patients who have diabetes to
take care of themselves. You can do this by getting the tests you need. The tests will show how well diabetes is being controlled.
Nephropathy assessment is one of the tests.
Why should I get a Nephropathy Assessment?
Diabetes can cause kidney disease by damaging the parts of the kidneys that filter out waste. Kidney disease can lead to kidney
failure. Diabetes is the leading cause of end stage renal disease (ESRD), which is a growing problem in AI/AN communities. Early
testing can help prevent or delay the need for costly care such as dialysis or renal transplant.
What is the GPRA measure?
The GPRA measure is the percentage of IHS AI/AN diabetes patients who were assessed for kidney disease (diabetic nephropathy) during the year.
How is IHS doing?
IHS has not established a long-term goal for this measure. The IHS 2012 goal was to achieve the rate of 57.8% for the proportion of patients diagnosed with diabetes who are assessed for nephropathy. IHS exceeded the goal by reaching 66.7%. The bars on the graph below show that IHS has increased the rate from 35% in 2002 to 66.7% in 2012. However, prior to the year 2007, this measure was defined differently. So, the 2002-2006 rates cannot be compared with the 2007-2012 rates.
View a table of this chart's data.
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To see how IHS is doing on this measure at the Area (regional) levels,