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Drugs. 1999;58 Suppl 1:61-9.

Strategies for better diabetes control in the US.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, and The Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


Recent surveys in the US have indicated that 71% of the total diabetes care is delivered by primary care physicians, and that current management practices in terms of the point of initiation of pharmacological treatment fall considerably short of the American Diabetes Association's recommendations. In part, this delay in initiating treatment is due to a fear of provoking hypoglycaemia, which in itself results from a general avoidance of blood glucose monitoring on the part of patients. As a consequence of this apparent disregard for diabetes care, blood glucose concentrations are not adequately controlled in the US and this is reflected in a high incidence of chronic complications, particularly diabetic neuropathy. This is likely to have major cost implications in the future. In an effort to improve the standard of diabetes care, a number of US authorities have begun producing guidelines for primary care physicians, and in the State of Texas, treatment algorithms that incorporate recommendations based on the current US registration trial data have been developed. These recommendations, which have now been adopted by the State of Texas and form part of the minimum standard of care mandated by the State Department of Health's Diabetes Council, provide guidance on the selection and use of oral antidiabetic drugs (including sulphonylureas, metformin, troglitazone, repaglinide and acarbose) in patients with type 2 diabetes, both for glycaemic control and for prevention of cardiovascular complications. It is hoped that organised implementation of these treatment algorithms will produce better control of diabetes and its complications than the current ad hoc strategies used by individual practitioners.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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