Good self-management leads to longer life, according to new diabetes study

Type 2 diabetics who have good self-management techniques to deal with their condition have reduced mortality risk, according to a new study from the German Research Center for Environmental Health.

Even after accounting for risk factors that can influence mortality, including age, sex, comorbidities or medication, the researchers found that self-management was directly linked to lifespan.

Consistency is key

Over 300 participants with type 2 diabetes were part of the study, and the subjects reported their regularity in performing various tasks and lifestyle adjustments that helped them manage their diabetes: monitoring blood glucose levels, following a diet plan, getting exercise, etc.

The patients were studied over the course of 12 years, and those who showed good diabetes self-management were likely to live longer.

Researchers say the results point to the importance of self-directed care – and that type 2 diabetics should only rely on their doctors and care providers to a certain extent.

"The results show that in addition to physician delivered treatment according to medical guidelines, the patient's behavior is also of great significance for the course of the disease and for the success of the treatment process," said study leader Professor Rolf Holle. "Patient-centered services, such as diabetes education, self-management training and information services therefore make a valuable contribution to good patient care and should continue to be expanded."

Helpful resources for diabetics looking to learn more about self-management techniques can be found on the American Diabetes Association's website.

Source: Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Environmental Health

Photo credit: stockimages/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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