Lifestyle counseling reduces time to reach treatment goals for people with diabetes

January 24, 2012

Lifestyle counseling, practiced as part of routine care for people with diabetes, helps people more quickly lower blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels and keep them under control, according to a large, long-term study published in the February issue of Diabetes Care.

Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) conducted a of more than 30,000 people with diabetes who received diet, exercise and weight-loss counseling 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 pressure or cholesterol.

They found that the use of counseling reduced the time it took for patients to lower blood glucose, blood pressure and . Previous studies have documented the success of counseling in a clinical trial setting, but until now many have questioned whether it would be as effective when conducted as part of ongoing treatment in a primary care setting, where fewer resources are available and patients may be less motivated.

"This study shows that persistent lifestyle counseling 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 . "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."

The study found that the more frequently patients received counseling, the faster they reached their treatment goals, with those who received counseling at least once a month achieving the best results. Those who received face-to-face counseling 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 counseling only once every one to six months.

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

Explore further: Lifestyle counseling and glycemic control in patients with diabetes: True to form?

Related Stories

Lifestyle counseling and glycemic control in patients with diabetes: True to form?

May 24, 2011
Electronic medical records (EMRs) have been in use for more than 30 years, but have only increased in utilization in recent years, due in part to research supporting the benefits of EMRs and federal legislation. As EMRs have ...

Weight-loss counseling most prevalent between male physicians and obese men

May 6, 2011
A study published in the June 2011 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine examined the association between patient–physician gender concordance and weight-related counseling in obese individuals. Investigators ...

Primary care-based weight intervention helps obese patients reduce weight

November 14, 2011
Can a visit to your primary care doctor help you lose weight? Primary care physicians, working with medical assistants in their practices, helped one group of their obese patients lose an average of 10.1 lb during a two-year ...

Recommended for you

Study identifies blood vessel as a therapeutic target for diabetes

September 14, 2017
Blood vessels have an often overlooked role of regulating the transfer of nutrients from the blood to organs in the body. In a new Yale-led study, researchers have identified a role of a secreted protein, apelin, in regulating ...

Drug for type 2 diabetes provides significant benefits to type 1 diabetic patients

September 14, 2017
A majority of patients with Type 1 diabetes who were treated with dapagliflozin, a Type 2 diabetes medicine, had a significant decline in their blood sugar levels, according to a new study published in The Lancet Diabetes ...

Could swine flu be linked to type 1 diabetes?

September 14, 2017
(HealthDay)—Young people who've been infected with the H1N1 swine flu virus may be at increased risk for type 1 diabetes, a new study suggests.

Epigenetic 'fingerprint' identifies diabetes risk

September 14, 2017
Deakin researchers have identified an epigenetic marker that predicts risk of type 2 diabetes in women with gestational diabetes.

Time to dial back on diabetes treatment in older patients? Study finds 11 percent are overtreated

September 14, 2017
Anyone with diabetes who takes blood sugar medication knows their doctor prescribed it to help them. After all, the long-term effects of elevated blood sugar can harm everything from the heart and kidneys to the eyes and ...

Novel way to present pancreatic proteins increases the sensitivity of type 1 diabetes tests

September 13, 2017
Researchers from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Stanford University and the University of Florida report the development of a novel antibody detection technology that holds promise for improving the accuracy ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.