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Counselling helps diabetes patients effectively manage condition

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People with diabetes will be able to manage their condition more effectively with the help of routine lifestyle counselling by primary care experts, according to research.

The Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) study looked at more than 30,000 people with the condition who had been counselled on exercise, diet and weight loss over a period equal to or greater than two years.

It found that when lifestyle counselling was part of routine care for people with diabetes, those with the condition were able to lower their blood glucose, cholesterol levels and blood pressure more quickly than with no counselling.

The study, published in Diabetes Care, is the first to establish that regular counselling as part of ongoing treatment in a primary care setting could be effective. Previously, experts were concerned that such counselling done away from the resources of a hospital and where patients may not be so motivated might not elicit such positive results

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

“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.”


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