Disease management programs help non-insulin-treated diabetic patients control their symptoms

A new disease management program developed by researchers at the University of California, San Diego has been shown to help individuals with type 2 diabetes lower their HbA1c levels, improve blood sugar control and improve overall quality of life, according to a new study.

The program involved using a number of tools to help patients keep better track of their condition. These tools included structured monitoring of blood glucose, pattern analysis and data visualizations. The findings of the study were published in the journal Diabetes Care.

The researchers said that similar programs have proven beneficial to individuals who are on insulin therapy. However, there is little evidence to suggest that these types of initiatives have the same benefits for those who are not taking insulin.



To test this, the researchers recruited 483 participants who had diabetes and were not taking insulin. Half were placed in a group that was assigned to follow the disease management program, while the remaining participants were given standard care.



The results of the study showed that participants in the disease management group had much better control of their blood sugar levels, both before and after eating. Furthermore, individuals in this group were able to reduce their HbA1c levels significantly more than those receiving standard care.

The researchers said that frequent blood sugar monitoring by the patients gave their doctors a tremendous amount of data to consider, and that the visualization tools helped these caregivers make better recommendations.

“Appropriate use of structured monitoring of blood glucose significantly improves glycemic control and facilitates more timely/aggressive treatment changes in noninsulin-treated type 2 diabetes,” the researchers wrote in their report.
 
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