SAN DIEGO – Reports from two officials of theCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC; Atlanta), made during this week’s meeting of theAmerican Diabetes Association (ADA; Alexandria, Virginia), suggested improvements in the quality of diabetes care in the U.S.

According to an ADA news release, Nilka Burrows, an epidemiologist in the CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation, said that the incidence of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in people with diabetes decreased by 30% in the six-year period ended in 2002.

“The decline of ESRD really began after an increase that peaked in 1996 at 327 per 100,000 people with diabetes,” said Burrows, “dropping to 229 in 2002.”

She said the cause is “probably due to a reduction in the prevalence of kidney disease risk factors, such as hypertension and high blood glucose level,” as well as people getting better care and taking better care of themselves.

Michael Engelgau, MD, associate director for prevention policy in the same division of the CDC, reported a 35% reduction in diabetes-related, preventable hospitalizations from 1994 to 2002.

That study looked at four diabetes-related conditions, including uncontrolled diabetes, short-term diabetes complications, long-term diabetes complications and lower-extremity amputations. Of the four, uncontrolled diabetes saw the largest decline, from 10 per 1,000 people with diabetes in 1994 to 4 per 1,000 in 2002.

Jim Stommen, Executive Editor