Controlling Blood Glucose Levels in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Woolf, Steven H.; Davidson, Mayer B.; Greenfield, Sheldon; Bell, Hanan S.; Ganiats, Theodore G.; Hagen, Michael D.; Palda, Valerie Anne; Rizza, Robert A.; Spann, Stephen J.
May 2000
Journal of Family Practice;May2000, Vol. 49 Issue 5, p453
Academic Journal
OBJECTIVE: To review evidence about the benefit of intensive glycemic control for patients with type 2 diabetes and to develop practice recommendations. PARTICIPANTS: A 9-member panel composed of family physicians, general internists, endocrinologists, and a practice guidelines methodologist was assembled by the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Diabetes Association, and the American College of Physicians. EVIDENCE: Admissible evidence included published randomized controlled trials and observational studies regarding the effects of glycemic control on microvascular and macrovascular complications and on adverse effects. We followed systematic search and data abstraction procedures. Greater weight was given to clinical trials and to evidence about health outcomes. CONSENSUS PROCESS: Interpretations of evidence and approval of documents were finalized by unanimous vote, with recommendations linked to evidence and not expert opinion. The full report was prepared by the chair and 2 panel members, representing each of the 3 organizations. The initial draft underwent external review by 14 diabetologists and family physicians and changes consistent with the evidence were incorporated. CONCLUSIONS: The evidence demonstrates that the risk of microvascular and neuropathic complications is reduced by lowering glucose concentrations. Whether glycemic control affects macrovascular outcomes is less clear. The potential benefits of glycemic control must be balanced against factors that either preempt benefits (eg, limited life expectancy, comorbid disease) or increase risk (eg, severe hypoglycemia). The magnitude of benefit is a function of individual clinical variables (eg, baseline glycated hemoglobin level, presence of preexisting microvascular disease). Appropriate targets for treatment should be determined by considering these factors, patients' risk profiles, and personal preferences.


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