Conceptualization and Measurement of Physiologic Health for Adults

Vol. 7, Diabetes Mellitus

by Robert H. Brook, Kathleen N. Lohr, Daniel M. Berman, Kenneth H. Applegate, George A. Goldberg


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Diabetes is a serious chronic disease associated with impaired carbohydrate metabolism and characterized, when untreated, by abnormally high glucose levels in the blood. Data on its prevalence and adverse consequences are used in the Health Insurance Study (HIS) to investigate the effect of different levels of insurance on health status and quality of care because of its widespread prevalence, serious complications, and amenability to control. This volume reviews pertinent medical literature, details the HIS definition of diabetes, describes HIS methods for measuring its presence and impact on people's lives, presents and discusses enrollment data from the six HIS sites, and outlines quality-of-care criteria. Illustrative findings include the following: Based on glucose measures, 2.3 percent of the adult HIS sample was classified as diabetic. Among those afflicted, only half were aware of their illness, and of this subgroup, two-thirds reported some negative impact from their illness (mainly worry).

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