The Diabetes QUERI is committed to research and collaborations that promote the use of effective care strategies to help Veterans with and at risk for diabetes live longer and better lives.
Approximately three-quarters of Veterans are overweight and nearly 40% are obese. Approaches to preventing diabetes share many of the same characteristics as those to prevent and treat obesity and other cardiovascular risk factors. Therefore, our research and implementation programs focus not only on diabetes prevention, but more broadly on obesity prevention and treatment, promotion of physical activity, and cardiovascular risk prevention.
Nearly 25% of Veterans in the Veterans Health Administration have been diagnosed with diabetes. Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness, end stage renal disease, and amputation in the US and in the VA. The mortality rate among VA patients with diabetes averages approximately 5% per year, compared with an average of 2.6% among patients without diabetes, and the majority of deaths and hospitalizations related to diabetes, both inside and outside VA, are due to macrovascular complications such as heart attack and stroke. Among people with diabetes, the presence of specific risk factors such as elevated glucose levels, poorly controlled hypertension, and dyslipidemia, can increase the probability of such devastating consequences, whereas appropriate management of these risk factors (both medical management and self-management), along with the early recognition and treatment of foot ulcers, retinal disease, and renal impairment are known to be successful in reducing end organ complications and death.