BACKGROUND: We evaluated the current status of diabetes management and the predictors for poor glycemic control in an urban area. METHODS: This study included 1,138 community-dwelling adults (> or =50 years) with diabetes, of which 584 participated in the diabetes care survey. Logistic regression was used to identify the factors predicting poor glycemic control (hemoglobin A1c[HbA1c]> or =7%) in the total sample and to evaluate the relationship between the history of diabetes management checkup and poor glycemic control in the diabetes care survey sample. RESULTS: Of the 1,138 patients, 53.2% had blood pressure less than 130/80 mmHg, 41.7% had fasting glucose between 70 and 130 mg/dL, 48.6% had HbA1c below 7.0%, 60.1% had triglycerides below 150 mg/dL, 41.4% had low density lipoprotein cholesterol below 100 mg/dL, and 59.1% had normoalbuminuria (urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio <30 mg/g creatinine). Of the 584 patients completing the diabetes care survey, 63.9% had one or more lipid tests, 32.0% had one or more HbA1c tests, 43.8% had one or more microalbuminuria tests, and 42.5% had one or more fundoscopic examinations annually. Female gender (odds ratio [OR], 1.71; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.23-2.36), duration of diabetes (OR, 1.07; 95% CI, 1.06-1.09), and alcohol use (OR, 1.40; 95% CI, 1.06-1.85) were associated with an increased risk for poor glycemic control while age (OR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.96-0.99) and antihypertensive medication (OR, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.50-0.83) were associated with a decreased risk. CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that glycemic control is likely to be poor in urban areas. We need to develop appropriate community-based strategies to achieve optimal glycemic control and prevent diabetes complications.