Infrequent care visits linked to poorer self-awareness of type 2 diabetes

Camille Bienvenu
Mon, 20 Mar 2017
Infrequent care visits linked to poorer self-awareness of type 2 diabetes
A new US study has found that adults with type 2 diabetes who received no health care for a whole year were more likely to be unaware of their diabetes.

By contrast, those who had been hospitalised during that time or had a family history of diabetes, among other things, were more likely to know they have the condition.

According to data from 1,879 people collected by researchers at Social and Scientific Systems, in Maryland, adults who didn't see a doctor in the past year had nearly six times higher odds of being unaware of their diabetes.

Among those receiving suboptimal care, women were the ones lacking awareness of their condition the most. Other determinants of type 2 diabetes awareness included age and ethnicity.

Younger adults, aged 20 to 44 years, were 24 per cent less likely to be aware of their diabetes status, compared to their middle aged peers. Asians had 44 per cent higher odds of not knowing they had type 2 diabetes or at what stage it was.

Disparities in acess to care was the biggest factor at play in lacking awareness of type 2 diabetes. It can result in delayed treatment initiation, or reduced ability to meet blood sugar targets when already diagnosed.

Appropriate ongoing care helps to address fluctuations in blood sugars in the short term, as well as detect early damage to nerves that occurs during hyperglycemia at the root of long-term complications.

More efficient screening with thorough physical exams is needed to check for neuropathies and other complications. A patient can be seemingly "well controlled" and still have some signs of damage to arteries in the legs or sensitivity in the extremities.

Remaining poorly controlled for long periods of time, due to little adjustment to someone's assigned diet and/or medication regimes by a healthcare professional can have potentially serious consequences.

So does the lack of education about how to correctly manage type 2 diabetes. A doctor never really gets to know a patient well and cannot explain all the ins and outs of diabetes management in a short time or through relatively infrequent contacts.

Improved awareness of type 2 diabetes can also lead to the recommendation or discovery of different options to manage type 2 diabetes, such as eating low-carb to normalise blood sugar levels.

If you wish to embark on a low-carb lifestyle, you can join our Low Carb Program and community of many great people to help you along the way.
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