More individuals with type 2 diabetes use oral medication to control their condition

As new treatment options become available, fewer individuals with type 2 diabetes are using insulin to control their condition, according to a recently released report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Health News Digest reports that the findings of the national survey show a 28 percent increase in the number of diabetics who used oral medications to control their condition between 1997 and 2007. Additionally, the portion of people who took insulin fell from 38 to 24 percent.

Experts say that the numbers mark a shift in treatment strategy among healthcare providers, according to USA Today. Doctors are now treating individuals who begin developing type 2 diabetes at an earlier stage in the condition's progression. This often involves prescribing oral medications, rather than insulin.

"In the past, physicians may have recommended first lifestyle changes without other medical therapy," Susan Spratt, an endocrinologist at the Duke University Medical Center, told the news source. "The new paradigm is lifestyle changes and the oral anti-diabetic metformin at diagnosis."

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