-- Robert Preidt
MONDAY, Sept. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Diabetes patients who visit
a primary care doctor every few weeks achieve quicker control of
their blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels,
researchers have found.
Control of these levels reduces the risk of diabetes-related
complications, but most diabetes patients do not have these levels
under control. Current treatment guidelines do not outline how
often diabetes patients should see a doctor.
To determine whether more frequent doctor visits could help
diabetes patients get control of their condition in a shorter
period of time, researchers analyzed data from 26,496 adult
diabetes patients who visited primary care doctors in Boston for at
least two years between January 2000 and January 2009.
For patients who saw their doctor every one to two weeks, the
median (midpoint) times to achieving their treatment goals were:
4.4 months without insulin and 10.1 months with insulin for blood
glucose; 1.3 months for blood pressure; and 5.1 months for
The median times for patients who saw their doctor every three
to six months were: 24.9 months without insulin, 52.8 months with
insulin for blood glucose; 13.9 months for blood pressure; and 32.8
months for cholesterol, said Fritha Morrison, of Brigham and
Women's Hospital in Boston, and colleagues.
The study is published in the Sept. 26 issue of the journal
Archives of Internal Medicine.
More research is needed because "the retrospective nature of
this study prevents us from establishing a causal relationship
between encounter frequency and patient outcomes," the study
authors pointed out in a journal news release.
The American College of Physicians offers advice about
living with diabetes.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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