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Doubling incidence cause for concern

In 2002, a report from the North Carolina division of Public Health found that approximately 389,000 adults in North Carolina had been diagnosed with diabetes. From 1995 to 2005, the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes in North Carolina adults almost doubled, increasing from 4.5 % to 8.5%. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness, kidney failure, stroke, heart disease and hypertension. Diabetes causes approximately 14,000 hospital admissions per year and 3,000 lower extremity amputations across the state. Diabetes was ranked as the seventh leading cause of death in North Carolina in 2005, and resulted in 2,255 deaths. Diabetes is a predominant disease among the adult Medicaid population, leading to frequent inpatient admissions and emergency department visits.

The Diabetes Quality Improvement Initiative is built on the core components of process improvement and patient outcome improvement. Based on national studies, improving the quality of care people with diabetes receive can result in a variety of benefits to the individual and cost savings to the health care system. See the program summary at right.