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Diabetes dilemma: older people with diabetes face a heavy burden from co-existing health conditions
Date:11/13/2007

s and checking blood glucose levels regularly and on schedule, exercising, following a diabetes-friendly diet and performing self-checks of the feet to look for sores that might not be healing or causing pain due to diabetes-related circulation and nerve problems.

But self-care for other chronic conditions can include taking drugs for cholesterol, blood pressure, lung disease and pain; avoiding salt that can aggravate hypertension and heart failure; regular weigh-ins for heart failure patients to monitor fluid retention; regular blood pressure checks; and more. Helping patients manage other chronic conditions may be as important as helping them manage their diabetes.

Programs that are designed to help support patients with several conditions are needed, beyond the single-disease management programs that have become popular for doctors to refer their patients to, the authors say. Right now, disease management does one disease at a time but few older patients come with just one, says Piette. If we want to really improve quality of life for these patients we need to be treating more than one at a time and help patients set their own priorities.


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Contact: Kara Gavin
kegavin@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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