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Diabetic Medicine

Year: 2008  |  Volume: 25  |  Issue: 2  |  Page No.: 170 - 173

Can we predict future improvement in glycaemic control?

R. Singh and M. Press


Aims  To determine the factors responsible for poor glycaemic control in diabetes and whether any such factors are associated with likely improvement in glycaemic control.

Methods  A prospective cohort study of 130 diabetic patients with poor glycaemic control (HbA1c ≥ 10.0%) with 1-year follow-up in a teaching hospital Diabetes Clinic. Changes in HbA1c were measured after 1 year.

Results  Poor glycaemic control was attributed to one of 15 possible causes. Those cases due to recent diagnosis of diabetes, inadequate treatment with diet, oral glucose-lowering agents or insulin, exacerbation of co-existent medical problems, recent stressful life-events and missed clinic appointments were all associated with significant improvement in HbA1c at 12 months. Patients with low mood or alcohol excess, inadequate blood glucose monitoring, poor exercise/sedentary lifestyle, refusal to take tablets or underdosing and refusal to take insulin at all or to increase the dose were all associated with continuing poor glycaemic control at 12 months. The patients were divided almost equally between the two groups.

Conclusions  In patients with poor glycaemic control, it is possible by simple features identified at clinic to predict which individuals are likely to show improvement in control and which will not. These findings have not been reported previously and suggest that about half of individuals with poor control will improve within our current diabetes clinic practice. Additional strategies will be required to address those individuals who are not likely to respond.

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