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[IP] Center Finds that Most Primary Care Doctors Don't Know Basic Tests for Diabetes

>From: "Dr. Joe, the Diabetes Doctor" <email @ redacted>
>Washington Hospital Center Study on Diabetes Care
>U.S. Newswire
>6 Jun 18:45
>Washington Hospital Center Finds that Most Primary Care Doctors
>Don't Know Basic Tests for Diabetes Patients
>WASHINGTON, June 6 /U.S. Newswire/ -- In a recent national
>survey of physicians, more than 90 percent of the country's primary
>care doctors could not correctly name the top three tests that a
>person with diabetes should have on a regular basis -- tests that
>could save their lives, experts say. More than 90 percent of
>American's with diabetes receive their medical care from primary
>care doctors, rather than diabetes specialists.
>In the survey commissioned by Washington Hospital Center in
>Washington, D.C., one of the country's leading centers for diabetes
>treatment, nearly all of the physicians correctly named "hemoglobin
>A-1-c" as one of the most important tests for diabetic patients.
>However, only 24 percent mentioned cholesterol and just five
>percent named blood pressure These three tests have been identified
>by the National Diabetes Education Program as the most important in
>managing diabetes and reducing the risk of deadly complications.
>"Diabetes is an epidemic in this country, affecting 16 million
>Americans," said Dr. Wm. James Howard, an endocrinologist and
>senior vice president and medical director for Washington Hospital
>Center. "We know that we can help these patients avoid serious
>complications with good diabetes management. This survey clearly
>shows that we need to more aggressively educate our physicians on
>the front lines of medicine. They must know how to effectively
>control diabetes to help their patients live as healthy and as long
>a life as possible."
>Other survey findings underscored the overall lack of
>understanding in this country about diabetes and how to effectively
>manage this disease.
>-- Despite the fact that most of the doctors could not name the
>top three test for diabetics, three-quarters of doctors said they
>are spending more time with diabetes patients than they did 10
>years ago, and nearly all said they could treat the typical with
>diabetes without the help of a specialist.
>-- Only one-quarter of the doctors surveyed (26.9 percent) knew
>the target blood pressure goal for people with diabetes, and only
>one-half (53.7 percent) correctly identified the goal for LDL (bad)
>-- When asked how they refer to the all-important "hemoglobin
>A-1-c" test when talking with patients (the three-month marker for
>blood sugar control), physicians gave 30 different answers.
>-- Only 17 percent of doctors correctly identified the upper
>limit for a normal fasting blood glucose.
>-- One-third of respondents said they do not have adequate time
>to care for patients with diabetes. They attributed this to managed
>care pressures, and that diabetic patients have an extensive need
>for education and are often elderly.

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