Management of Hyperglycemia in Type 2 Diabetes: A Patient-Centered Approach

 

 

 

 

BACKGROUND
Glycemic management in type 2 diabetes mellitus has become increasingly complex and, to some extent, controversial, with a widening array of pharmacological agents now available, mounting concerns about their potential adverse effects and new uncertainties regarding the benefits of intensive glycemic control on macrovascular complications. Many clinicians are therefore perplexed as to the optimal strategies for their patients. As a consequence, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) convened a joint task force to examine the evidence and develop recommendations for antihyperglycemic therapy in nonpregnant adults with type 2 diabetes. Several guideline documents have been developed by members of these two organizations and by other societies and federations. However, an update was deemed necessary because of contemporary information on the benefits/risks of glycemic control, recent evidence concerning efficacy and safety of several new drug classes, the withdrawal/restriction of others, and increasing calls for a move toward more patient-centered care.
This statement has been written incorporating the best available evidence and, where solid support does not exist, using the experience and insight of the writing group, incorporating an extensive review by additional experts (acknowledged below). The document refers to glycemic control; yet this clearly needs to be pursued within a multifactorial risk reduction framework. This stems from the fact that patients with type 2 diabetes are at increased risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality; the aggressive management of cardiovascular risk factors (blood pressure and lipid therapy, antiplatelet treatment, and smoking cessation) is likely to have even greater benefits.
These recommendations should be considered within the context of the needs, preferences, and tolerances of each patient; individualization of treatment is the cornerstone of success. Our recommendations are less prescriptive than and not as algorithmic as prior guidelines. This follows from the general lack of comparative-effectiveness research in this area. Our intent is therefore to encourage an appreciation of the variable and progressive nature of type 2 diabetes, the specific role of each drug, the patient and disease factors that drive clinical decision making, and the constraints imposed by age and comorbidity. The implementation of these guidelines will require thoughtful clinicians to integrate current evidence with other constraints and imperatives in the context of patient-specific factors.

 

   
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