Hypertensive Patients Tested Infrequently for Diabetes

Although hypertension and diabetes are often comorbid conditions, nearly one-third of hypertensive patients have not had their blood sugar tested in the last 3 years.

Although hypertension and diabetes are often comorbid conditions, nearly one-third of hypertensive patients have not had their blood sugar tested in the last 3 years, according to research published online in Preventing Chronic Disease on November 26, 2014.

According to data from the 2011 Minnesota Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 30% of hypertensive adults who were not diabetic had not received a blood glucose test within the previous 3 years, the Minnesota Department of Health found. Age, not being obese, checkup frequency, treatment with medication, and not completing a college degree were associated with greater odds of not being screened or tested for diabetes, the researchers found.

Of the participants with self-reported hypertension, 19.6% had a diabetes diagnosis and 10.7% had a prediabetes diagnosis, the authors added. Both diabetes and prediabetes negatively affect cardiovascular health, but early diagnosis and treatment can prevent cardiovascular complications, particularly in hypertensive patients.

The combination of health care providers’ failure to screen and patients’ lack of understanding regarding screening importance may contribute to missed opportunities for early diabetes detection, management, and prevention, the researchers concluded.