Objective: To revise and expand the 1992 edition of the clinical practice guidelines for the management of diabetes in Canada incorporating recent advances in diagnosis and outpatient management of diabetes mellitus and to identify and assess the evidence supporting these recommendations.
Options: All aspects of ambulatory diabetes care, including organization, responsibilities, classification, diagnosis, management of metabolic disorders, and methods for screening, prevention and treatment of complications in all forms of diabetes were reviewed, revised as required and expressed as a set of recommendations.
Outcomes: Reclassification of types of diabetes based on pathogenesis; increased sensitivity of diagnostic criteria; recommendations for screening for diabetes; improved delivery of care; recommendations for tighter metabolic control; and optimal methods for screening, prevention and treatment of complications of diabetes.
Evidence: All recommendations were developed using a justifiable and reproducible process involving an explicit method for the citation and evaluation of the supporting evidence.
Values: All recommendations were reviewed by an expert committee that included people with diabetes, family physicians, dietitians, nurses, diabetologists, as well as other subspecialists and methodologists from across Canada.
Benefits, harm and costs: More aggressive screening strategies and more sensitive testing and diagnostic procedures will allow earlier detection and management of diabetes. Cost-effectiveness analyses suggest that this will lead to savings in health care costs relating to diabetes care by reducing the incidence of complications of diabetes. Similarly, tighter metabolic control in most people with diabetes, through intensive diabetes management, seeks to reduce the incidence of complications and, hence, their associated social and economic burdens.
Recommendations: This document contains numerous detailed recommendations pertaining to all aspects of ambulatory diabetes care, ranging from service delivery to prevention and treatment of diabetes-related complications. The terms "insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus" and "non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus" should be replaced by the terms "type 1" and "type 2" diabetes. Testing for diabetes using fasting plasma glucose (FPG) level should be performed every 3 years in those over 45 years of age. More frequent or earlier testing should be considered for people with additional specific risk factors for diabetes. The FPG level at which diabetes is diagnosed should be reduced from 7.8 to 7.0 mmol/L to improve the sensitivity of the main diagnostic criterion and reduce the number of missed diagnoses. Depending on the type of diabetes and the therapy required to achieve euglycemia, people with diabetes should generally strive for close metabolic control to achieve optimal glucose levels. This entails receiving appropriate diabetes education through a diabetes health care team, diligent self-monitoring of blood glucose, attention to lifestyle and adjustments in diet and physical activity, and the appropriate and stepwise use of oral agents and insulin therapies needed to maintain glycemic control. Also highlighted is the need for appropriate surveillance programs for complications and management options.
Validation: All recommendations were graded according to the strength of the evidence and consensus of all relevant stakeholders. Collateral efforts of the American Diabetes Association and the World Health Organization and the input of international experts were also considered throughout the revision process.