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Research Supports Use of Intensive Therapy and Team Approach in Management of Diabetes

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New Information from AHRQ: December 11, 2001

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) today announced the release of a new synthesis of AHRQ-funded research on diabetes management which shows that providers can help patients achieve good glycemic control and postpone major complications of the disease through a combination of intensive drug therapy and a team approach to care.

The synthesis, Improving Care for Diabetes Patients Through Intensive Therapy and a Team Approach, is based on AHRQ-supported research that has examined what can be achieved when treating patients in an office practice. The synthesis indicates that the components of effective management of diabetes include: 1) more frequent use of two oral medications, or one oral medication plus insulin; 2) three or more daily injections for insulin recipients; 3) four or more visits per year for many patients; and visits with both physicians and nurse practitioners. Improving Care for Diabetes Patients reflects the substantial investment AHRQ has made in research addressing conditions like diabetes, as well as how to translate those research findings into improved clinical practice.

AHRQ also announced the release of a new fact sheet showing that racial and ethnic minorities are at greater risk for diabetes, and that certain minorities also have much higher rates of diabetes-related complications and death. This fact sheet, Diabetes and Disparities Among Racial and Ethnic Minorities, is based on a review of research articles that appeared in peer-reviewed journals. AHRQ-supported research also seeks to identify barriers to health care that contribute to disparities in the prevalence of diseases and their complications among different racial and ethnic groups, and to identify changes that could be made to eliminate the barriers and reduce the resulting disparities in care.

Both publications can be viewed on the AHRQ Web site. The synthesis is available at; the fact sheet at Copies of these publications are also available from the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse, by sending an E-mail message to For more information on AHRQ-funded diabetes research, visit the AHRQ Web site at, or AHRQ's Center for Outcomes and Effectiveness Research.

For more information, please contact AHRQ Public Affairs, (301) 427-1364: Karen Migdail, (301) 427-1855 (


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