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Intensive diabetes treatment ‘does not adversely affect health status’

There are ‘no differences’ in patient-reported outcomes between patients with type 2 diabetes receiving intensive treatment and those receiving routine care immediately after diagnosis, shows recent research.

The study

Dutch researchers studied the effects of intensive treatment versus routine care on patient-reported outcomes in newly-diagnosed type 2 diabetes patients over five years. Some 3,057 patients participated in the study from 343 general practices - all had their diabetes diagnosed as a result of screening. Patients were assigned to two groups: intensive treatment of multiple risk factors (1,678 patients) or routine care (1,379). Outcome measures included: health status (EQ-5D) at baseline and at follow-up; diabetes-specific quality of life; and satisfaction with diabetes treatment at follow-up. At baseline, standardised self-report questionnaires were used to collect health status information. Mean follow-up time was 5.7 years.

The results

EQ-5D values did not change between diagnosis and follow-up, with a median of 0.85 at baseline and 0.85 at the five-year follow-up for both patient groups. Health status, diabetes-specific quality of life and treatment satisfaction were not significantly different between the intensive treatment and routine care groups.  

What this means for GPs

The researchers note that ‘following detection by screening, intensive multifactorial treatment over five years was not associated with differences in health status, well-being, quality of life or treatment satisfaction compared with routine care’ and note that ‘while it remains uncertain whether early intensive treatment is associated with a reduction in cardiovascular endpoints, we find no evidence that such treatment adversely affects patient-reported outcomes early in the course of the disease’.

Diabetologia, online 20 August 2013