Lifestyle counselling helps diabetics reach treatment goals faster

   Jan 25, 1:53 pm

Washington, Jan 25 (ANI): Regular lifestyle counselling can help diabetes patients achieve targeted blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels much faster than patients who receive physician advice less frequently, a new study has revealed.

Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) conducted a retrospective cohort study of more than 30,000 people with diabetes who received diet, exercise and weight-loss counselling in a primary care setting over the course of at least two years (with an average follow-up time of almost seven years) and who had elevated blood glucose, blood pressure or cholesterol.

They found that the use of counselling reduced the time it took for patients to lower blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

"This study shows that persistent lifestyle counselling can and should be a critical piece of any routine diabetes treatment plan," said senior author Alexander Turchin, MD, MS, director of informatics research at the BWH Division of Endocrinology.

"Clearly it gets people to goals faster than when they are not given continued encouragement and information on how to increase physical activity levels, eat properly and reduce lipids. Primary care providers should take these findings to heart," Turchin added.

The study found that the more frequently patients received counselling, the faster they reached their treatment goals, with those who received counselling at least once a month achieving the best results.

Those who received face-to-face counselling once a month or more took an average of 3.9 weeks to reach their target goals for A1C, blood pressure and cholesterol , as compared to 13.5 months for those who received counselling only once every one to six months.

Because counselling can be time intensive, researchers recommend that working with providers such as nurse practitioners, physician assistants or dieticians, as well as providing support in group settings, may be more cost-effective ways of providing this necessary support.

The study has been published in Diabetes Care. (ANI)

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