Conference Coverage

Guidelines outline patient-centered approach to type 2 diabetes



BERLIN – Providing patient-centered care is at the heart of managing hyperglycemia in people with type 2 diabetes and is emphasized in a consensus report issued jointly by the American Diabetes Association and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.

Dr. Melanie J. Davies, professor of diabetes medicine at the University of Leicester (England) and honorary consultant diabetologist at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust NHS Trus Sara Freeman/MDedge News

Dr. Melanie J. Davies

The 2018 ADA/EASD Consensus Report also addresses clinical inertia and notes that medication adherence and persistence should be facilitated. All patients should be offered ongoing self-management education and support, Melanie J. Davies, MD, one of the two cochairs of the report-writing committee, said during a press conference at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.

The report also addresses preferred choices for glucose-lowering medications, largely based on recent findings of large-scale cardiovascular outcomes trials. There also is specific guidance on how to manage hyperglycemia in patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, and heart failure.

“The consensus report focuses on not what an individual’s glycemic target should be or how to individualize goals but really addresses how each patient can achieve their individualized glycemic target,” Dr. Davies said.

Dr. Davies, who is professor of diabetes medicine at the University of Leicester (England) and an honorary consultant diabetologist at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust also said that the report looked at taking patient factors and preferences into account but also considered “the ever-increasing complexity around the availability of glucose-lowering agents.”

Sara Freeman/MDedge News

Dr. Chantal Mathieu, Dr. John Buse, Dr. Melanie J. Davies, and Dr. William T. Cefalu present the results of the 2018 ADA-EASD Consensus Report during the EASD 2018 meeting.

Practical guide to managing patients

The consensus report, which was simultaneously published in the official journals of the ADA (Diabetes Care 2018 Sep; dci180033) and the EASD (Diabetologia. 2018 Sep. doi: 10.1007/s00125-018-4729-5) to coincide with its presentation at the EASD meeting, is much more visual and aims to be more of a practical aid than was the previous position statement from 2015 (Diabetologia. 2015 Mar;58:429-42; Diabetes Care 2015 Jan;38[1]:140-9), on which it was based, Dr. Davies said.

The patient has been placed firmly at the center of the decision cycle, she observed, which starts with assessment of patient characteristics and consideration of their lifestyle, comorbidities, and clinical parameters. Specific factors that may affect the choice of treatment, such as the individualized glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) target or side effect profiles of medications, are included, as is working together with the patient to make, continually monitor, and reevaluate a shared decision plan.

In terms of lifestyle, one of the consensus recommendations is that “an individualized program of medical nutritional therapy should be offered to all patients,” with the more specific recommendation that those who are overweight or obese be advised of the health benefits of weight loss and be encouraged to participate in dietary modifications that may include food substitution. Increasing activity is also highly recommended based on long-established evidence that this can help reduce HbA1c level. Recommendations for when to consider bariatric surgery for weight management also are included.

Next Article: