Disease management programs help type 2 diabetics improve their condition

Type 2 diabetes can be difficult to control. Many people don't fully understand how aspects of their lifestyle can impact their condition or the best ways to take charge of their symptoms.

In an effort to help diabetics improve their condition, a team of researchers from Howard University recently developed an online disease management program, which doctors say can provide encouraging results, according to Cardiovascular Business.

The system involves a Web portal where doctors can upload disease management guidelines that are specific to each of their patients. These individuals can then enter information about their condition, such as blood pressure, blood sugar and weight. The program checks the data entered by patients against their treatment plan, sending alerts to doctors if it appears the diabetic's condition is worsening.

The researchers conducted a study comparing individuals who used the system to another group of diabetics who were given standard care. The study showed that the Web portal made patients 4.6 times more likely to hit their targets for A1c levels, an important measure of blood sugar control, than those who did not use the system.

"Chronic diseases are out of control in this country. Basically, people don't take care of themselves," Ernest Carter, who led the development of the Web portal, told the news source. "Chronic disease management works; there are plenty of examples."

The study confirms earlier findings that indicate disease management programs can help diabetics improve their condition. For example, a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that individuals who participate in disease management programs are more likely to get screened on a regular basis for retinopathy, nephropathy, foot conditions and A1c levels. All of these areas can play an important role in the quality of life of a person with type 2 diabetes.
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