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New ‘Guiding Principles’ for Diabetes Care

Experts clarify areas of agreement across multiple guidelines

A newly published set of 10 guiding principles highlights areas of agreement for diabetes care that could be clinically useful in diabetes management and prevention.

Presented by the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP), a partnership between the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the publication is aimed at assisting with identification and management of the disease, self-management support for patients, physical activity, and blood glucose control, among other topics. More than a dozen federal agencies and professional organizations support the document.

“There are a lot of diabetes guidelines out there, and practitioners and patients can get confused about which they should follow,” said Judith Fradkin, MD, director of the Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolic Diseases at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, part of the NIH. “With these guiding principles, we aren’t creating new guidelines, but clarifying where there is general agreement across myriad diabetes guidelines. Guiding Principles represents a set of sound practices. Our goal in developing this resource is to help clinicians help their patients with diabetes.”

The 10 guiding principles include:

  • Identify undiagnosed diabetes and prediabetes.
  • Manage prediabetes.
  • Provide self-management education and support.
  • Encourage regular physical activity.
  • Control blood glucose.
  • Reduce cardiovascular disease risk.
  • Detect and monitor microvascular complications.
  • Consider special populations.
  • Provide patient-centered care.

More than 29 million Americans have diabetes, and another 86 million –– more than one in three adults –– have prediabetes. Diabetes costs the U.S. $245 billion annually, according to the American Diabetes Association.

Sources: NIH; November 12, 2014; and Guiding Principles; September 2014.

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