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Improved type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease guidelines for GPs released

By Editor
22nd July 2020
Clinical guidance, Good practice Type 2 diabetes

Bitesize information to help GPs “navigate the complexities” of treating people with type 2 diabetes and other health conditions has been released.

The guidance has been put together by a global team of medical experts who were led by researchers from the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) East Midlands.

The document covers several chronic health conditions that people with type 2 diabetes are prone to developing, but there is a particular focus on cardiovascular disease, the collective name for problems related to the heart and blood vessels, including coronary heart disease.

Cardiovascular disease affects about 30 per cent of those with type 2 diabetes and is a major cause of death.


The prevalence of type 2 diabetes is growing and very often people with the condition have other chronic health complaints which has become challenging for doctors to treat correctly based on everybody’s individual needs.

Lead author of the guidance, Dr Samuel Seidu, GP and clinical lecturer at the University of Leicester, said: “Type 2 diabetes and its associated comorbidities are growing more prevalent, and we’re finding that many healthcare professionals working in primary care require help to navigate the complexities of managing the condition.

“New and emerging medical therapies and evidence have changed the landscape of treating type 2 diabetes. There’s now a plethora of available treatment options, which combined with GP appointment time restraints, can make prescribing the correct medication for more than one condition quite challenging.

“The guidance we’ve drawn up offers a simple and patient-centred clinical decision-making model with practical treatment options specifically for healthcare professionals working in primary care.”

The guidance provides a breakdown of side effects and risk factors for a wide variety of type 2 diabetes therapies, as well as the positive benefits of each medication.

Professor Kamlesh Khunti, who is the Director of NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) East Midlands and is also a Professor of Primary Care, Diabetes and Vascular Medicine at the University of Leicester, added: “Type 2 diabetes can be successfully managed, and its associated complications prevented, especially if detected and treated early. However, understanding the complexity of the disease and the pharmacological options is critical for ensuring optimal patient care and improving outcomes.

“Cardiovascular disease affects nearly one-third of all people with type 2 diabetes globally, so therefore a comprehensive diabetes management plan is needed for healthcare professionals so they can educate their patients into making informed decisions, helping them to succeed in reaching their glycaemic target goals and prevent the number and complexity of serious complications.”

ARC East Midlands funds vital work to tackle the region’s health and care priorities by speeding up the adoption of research onto the frontline of health and social care.

The organisation puts in place evidence-based frameworks to drive up standards of care and save time and money.

ARC East Midlands is hosted by Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and works in collaboration with the East Midlands Academic Health Science Network. It has bases at University of Leicester and University of Nottingham.

To access the guidelines, click here.

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

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