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Frequent doctor visits benefits patients with diabetes
Date:9/27/2011

n patients) and 10.1 months (insulin patients) to reach their hemoglobin A1C treatment goals compared to 24.9 months (non-insulin patients) and 52.8 months (insulin patients) for those who saw their doctor every 3𔃄 months. Blood pressure level goals were reached at 1.3 months in the 1𔃀 week group vs. 13.9 months in the 3𔃄 month group. LDL cholesterol level goals were also reached sooner at 5.1 months vs. 32.8 months, respectively. For all values combined, the median time to reach treatment goals was 1.5 months vs. 36.9 months, respectively.

Alexander Turchin, MD, MS, BWH endocrinologist and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and the study's senior and corresponding author, attributes several interactions during these encounters for reaching target goals.

"Physicians may be prescribing new medications or increasing the dose of existing ones," said Turchin. "Another process occurring is lifestyle counseling. Physicians are telling patients how they can improve their diet. They are telling their patients to exercise more and lose weight, which is going to help their diabetes control."

Further analysis showed that doubling the amount of time between doctor-patient encounters increased the time it took to reach treatment goals. Time to reach hemoglobin A1C goals increased by 35 percent (non-insulin patients) and 17 percent (insulin patients). Time to reach blood pressure and LDL cholesterol treatment goals increased by 87 percent and 27 percent, respectively.


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Contact: Holly Brown-Ayers
hbrown-ayers@partners.org
617-534-1603
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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