To determine the proportion of adults with diabetesin the U.S. who have received diabetes patient education and to assess factors that determine whether patients receive this education.


A questionnaire on diabetes was administered to a representative sample of 2,405 diabetic individual≥18 years of age in the U.S. population. The questionnaire inquired about whether these individuals had ever attended a diabetes education class or program. Sociodemographic and clinical factors that may influence participation in patient education were also determined.


Of all people with diabetes, 35.1% had attended a class or program about diabetes at some time during the course of their disease,including 58.6% of individuals with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, 48.9% of insulin-treated individuals with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), and 23.7% of NIDDM individuals not treated with insulin. Younger age, black race, residence in the midwest region of the U.S., higher level of education, and presence of diabetes complications were consistentlyassociated with having had diabetes education for people with NIDDM. Although increasing income was associated with patient education for NIDDM individuals not treated with insulin, it was not an independent determinant for insulin-treated NIDDM individuals. NIDDM individuals not treated with insulin who lived alone were more likely to have had patient education than those who did not live alone. Not having a diabetes physician or not visiting onein the past year was associated with a higher likelihood of patient education for non-insulin-treated NIDDM individuals.


A large proportion of patients with diabetes has never received , diabetes education. Patient education has been recognized for its contributions to reducing the morbidity and mortality of diabetes. Consequently, special attention should be directed to the subgroups of individuals, such as those not taking insulin, those with lower socioeconomic status, and those living outside urban areas, in which the frequency of diabetes patient education is particularly low.

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