Awareness, treatment, and control of LDL cholesterol are lower among U.S. adults with undiagnosed diabetes versus diagnosed diabetes

Todd M. Brown, Rikki M. Tanner, April P. Carson, Huifeng Yun, Robert S. Rosenson, Michael E. Farkouh, J. Michael Woolley, Evan L. Thacker, Stephen P. Glasser, Monika M. Safford, Paul Muntner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE-Diabetes is often undiagnosed, resulting in incorrect risk stratification for lipid-lowering therapy. We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2005-2010 to determine the prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control of elevated LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) among U.S. adults with undiagnosed diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS-Fasting NHANES participants 20 years of age or older who had 10-year Framinghamcoronary heart disease (CHD) risk scores<20%and were free of CHD or other CHD risk equivalents (n = 5,528) were categorized as having normal glucose, impaired fasting glucose, undiagnosed diabetes, or diagnosed diabetes. High LDL-C was defined by the 2004 Adult Treatment Panel (ATP) III guidelines. RESULTS-The prevalence of diagnosed and of undiagnosed diabetes was 8 and 4%, respectively. Mean LDL-C was 102 ± 2 mg/dL among those with diagnosed diabetes and 117 ± 3 mg/ dL for those with undiagnosed diabetes (P < 0.001). The prevalence of high LDL-C was similar among individuals with undiagnosed (81%) and diagnosed (77%) diabetes. Among individuals with undiagnosed diabetes and high LDL-C, 38% were aware, 27% were treated, and 16% met the ATP III LDL-C goal for diabetes. In contrast, among individuals with diagnosed diabetes and high LDL-C, 70% were aware, 61% were treated, and 36% met the ATP III goal. Subjects with undiagnosed diabetes remained less likely to have controlled LDL-C after multivariable adjustment (prevalence ratio, 0.42; 95% CI, 0.23-0.80). CONCLUSIONS-Improved screening for diabetes and reducing the prevalence of undiagnosed diabetes may identify individuals requiring more intensive LDL-C reduction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2734-2740
Number of pages7
JournalDiabetes Care
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2013


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