Friday, November 15, 2013

Managing Type 2 Diabetes

Information sourced from Journal Watch:
New Position Statement for Managing Type 2 Diabetes

A one-size-fits-all approach is rejected.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) have published a new position statement entitled, "Management of Hyperglycemia in Type 2 Diabetes: A Patient-Centered Approach."  The document outlines basic elements of lifestyle modification, oral agents, noninsulin injectable agents, and insulin, and provides management tips that even experienced clinicians might find helpful.  Two aspects of the report are particularly noteworthy:

1.) Acknowledging "mounting concerns about . . . potential adverse effects [of drug therapies] and new uncertainties regarding the benefits of intensive glycemic control on macrovascular complications," the authors emphasize a patient-centered approach with individualized targets for glycemic control.  For example, they recommend more-stringent control (e.g., glycosylated hemoglobin [HbA1c] target, <7%) for motivated patients with new-onset diabetes and long life expectancies, and less-stringent control (e.g., HbA1c goal, 8% or even higher) for less-motivated patients with longstanding diabetes, limited life expectancies, and high risk for adverse outcomes from hypoglycemia.
2.) Because the authors reject a one-size-fits-all approach, they make this important statement: "Utilizing the percentage of diabetic patients who are achieving an HbA1c <7% as a quality indicator, as promulgated by various health care organizations, is inconsistent with the emphasis on individualization of treatment goals."


Comment: Many clinicians talk about getting their patients with type 2 diabetes "to goal," as if a single, evidence-based target was applicable to every patient.  Others talk about being "dinged" by real or imagined organizations if their patients' HbA1c levels are not in a certain range.  In contrast, this position statement supports a more-reasoned approach that involves shared decision making and flexible goals.  In a worthwhile accompanying editorial, the author describes the process that resulted in this position statement.  One note: Nine of the 10 authors of the statement each have financial ties to numerous pharmaceutical companies.

- Allan S. Brett, MD
- Published in Journal Watch General Medicine

  (July 24, 2012)

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