A study of 313,586 VeteransAdministration patients with diabetesand mental health problemsfound that this populationis less likely to receive optimaldiabetes care. Of the participants,25% had some type ofmental illness. The researchersfound that patients with mentalillness were 24% more apt to nothave had hemoglobin A1C testing,24% more prone not to havehad their low-density cholesteroltested, and 5% more likelynot to have undergone an eyeexam. Poor control of bloodsugar levels was also detectedin 32% of the patients.
The number of mental healthconditions per patient was afactor in the quality of care. Forexample, 24% of the patientswithout mental health conditionshad poor blood sugarcontrol, compared with 28% ofpatients with 1 condition, 31%for patients with 3 conditions,and 41% for patients with 6diagnosed mental health conditions.