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Educating diabetic patients on lifestyle factors that can influence their condition may lead to significantly improved HbA1c test results, according to a series of investigations published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Three different groups of researchers examined various strategies for helping diabetics with poorly controlled blood sugar improve their condition. These methods included cognitive behavioral therapy, disease-specific education and lifestyle interventions.
Regardless of the specific method studied, the researchers unanimously concluded that providing individuals with more resources can lead to better HbA1c test scores and improved glucose management.
"Among patients with type 2 diabetes of relatively long duration and HbA1c levels of 7 percent or higher, short-term glucose control improved more in those receiving individual diabetes education," one group of researchers wrote in their report.
The findings of the investigations could have important implications, as poorly regulated blood sugar is the primary cause of many of the complications that affect individuals with diabetes. Improving glucose control can significantly reduce the risk of health problems like heart disease, kidney failure or blindness.
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