Guidelines Urge Early and Aggressive Treatment

Published Online: Friday, April 1, 2005

Experts recommended that physicians check for diabetes even if they think patients may have the condition, and begin a drug regimen to treat it right away, according to new guidelines recently released. Specialists at the American College of Endocrinology and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists said about 90% of all patients diagnosed with diabetes are not controlling it adequately to prevent heart disease and other complications. The groups also suggested that patients at risk should start getting screened at 30. If poor control of blood sugar is found, they should begin taking drugs immediately.

For example, the 2 groups said, a measure of glucose control called A1C should be 6.5% or lower. Fasting glucose level should be 110 or lower, and a 2-hour glucose challenge reading should be 140 or lower. If a physician believes a patient may have diabetes, the patient should be tested right away, said Jaime Davidson, MD, chairman of the guidelines conference. He noted that a fasting glucose test is not sufficient. The patient needs to have a 2-hour glucose challenge to see how well the patient controls blood sugar.

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