OBJECTIVE: To determine whether American Diabetes Association (ADA) guidelines can be met in the context of routine endocrinology practice. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Charts were reviewed for a group of patients who were examined in 1998, followed for > or = 1 year, and had two or more visits during that year. Process measures and metabolic outcomes were studied for patients with type 2 diabetes, and glycemic control was assessed for patients with type 1 diabetes. RESULTS: A total of 121 patients with type 2 diabetes had a mean age of 63 years, a mean BMI of 31 kg/m2, and a mean duration of diabetes of 12 years. Many had comorbidities or complications: 80% had hypertension, 64% had hyperlipidemia, 78% had neuropathy, 22% had retinopathy, and 21% had albuminuria. Management of type 2 diabetic patients was complex: 38% used oral hypoglycemic agents alone (54% of these were using two or more agents), 31% used oral hypoglycemic agents and insulin, and 26% used insulin alone; 42% of patients taking insulin therapy injected insulin three or more times per day. Within 12 months, 74% of patients had dilated eye examinations, 70% had lipid profiles, and 55% had urine albumin screening. Of the patients, 87% had a foot examination at their last visit. Blood pressure levels averaged 133/72 mmHg, cholesterol levels averaged 4.63 mmol/l, triglyceride levels averaged 1.99 mmol/l, HDL cholesterol levels averaged 1.24 mmol/l, and LDL cholesterol levels averaged 2.61 mmol/l. Random blood glucose levels averaged 8.0 mmol/l, and HbAlc levels averaged 6.9 +/- 0.1%. A total of 87% of patients had HbAlc levels < or = 8.0%. A total of 30 patients with type 1 diabetes had mean age of 44 years, a mean BMI of 26 kg/m2, and a mean duration of diabetes of 20 years. All type 1 diabetic patients used insulin and averaged 3.4 injections a day; their average HbAlc level was 7.1 +/- 0.2%, and 80% had HbAlc levels < or = 8.0%. CONCLUSIONS: Although endocrinologists must manage patients with multifaceted problems, complex treatment regimens yield glycemic control levels comparable with the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial and allow ADA guidelines to be met in a routine practice setting.

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