VA’s E-Consultation Equals In-Person Endocrinologist Care

HOUSTON — To improve specialty care accessibility, the Michael E. DeBakey VAMC (MEDVAMC) in Houston began the Diabetes Mellitis Electronic Consultation Service (DMECS) to provide specialty recommendations about diabetes care to primary care physicians (PCPs). The E-consultation, which is done… Read More

Reasons for Poor Diabetes Control in Patients Receiving VA Care

ATLANTA — Poor diabetes control with HbA1c levels exceeding 9% is a common problem, even at the VA where 20% of all patients with diabetes fall into that category despite established care. Noting that “most poorly controlled patients improve on… Read More

VA Tailors Weight-Loss Programs to Help Young Veterans Maintain Physical Fitness

WASHINGTON – For veterans, one of the riskiest times for weight gain is immediately following discharge. The transition from the active military lifestyle to a relatively sedentary one can be a struggle for former servicemembers who are trying to maintain… Read More

Mobile Application to Help Families Manage Healthcare Wins Federal Challenge

By Stephen Spotswood SAN CARLOS, CA — A mobile health application that helps families manage their healthcare is the grand-prizewinner of the HHS Healthfinder.gov Mobile App Challenge. The San Carlos-based mobile technology development company, Lyfechannel, was awarded $50,000 in May… Read More

Low Vitamin D Levels Tied to Diabetes in Troops

SAN DIEGO – Low levels of vitamin D are associated with a higher risk of developing “insulin-requiring” diabetes, according to a study of active-duty servicemembers. The nested case-control study led by Edward D. Gorham, PhD, MPH, a research epidemiologist from… Read More

Intensive Weight Loss Program Increases Diabetes Remission Rates

ATLANTA – An intensive weight loss program involving dieting, counseling and physical activity offers the promise of diabetes remission, especially in patients who are recently-diagnosed, not on insulin and have lower hemoglobin A levels. The study, partly funded by the… Read More

Surgery May Trump Angioplasty for Diabetes Patients with CAD

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – A new study from the Roudebush VAMC in Indianapolis suggests survival rates are better when diabetes patients with multivessel coronary artery disease receive coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery as opposed to angioplasty, even when the most… Read More

Higher Rates of Chronic Diseases in Males Veterans with MS

HINES, IL – Male veterans with multiple sclerosis (MS) have a higher prevalence of diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, coronary heart disease and stroke than the general population. That’s according to a study from the Center for Management of Complex Chronic Care… Read More

Despite Formulary, High-Cost Diabetes Drug Use Varies Widely Across VA Facilities

By Brenda L. Mooney PITTSBURGH — Despite a tightly managed national formulary, the use of high-cost drugs to treat diabetes shows “substantial” variation across the VA healthcare system, according to a new research letter. The VA-funded report, published online by… Read More

Soldiers with Diabetes in Theater Increase Clinicians’ Disease Management Challenges

By Annette M. Boyle BETHESDA, MD — The Army is retaining an increasing number of personnel with diabetes, and, despite directives to the contrary, these soldiers may be deployed to active war zones where typically recommended methods for managing the… Read More

Peer Support Significantly Improves Compliance in Veterans with Diabetes

By Annette M. Boyle WASHINGTON — For the more than one million VHA patients who have diabetes, peer support and shared medical appointments offer an efficient, surprisingly effective, way to deliver care and improve disease management. The shared medical appointment… Read More

Bariatric Surgery Increasing at VA, Questions Continue on Long Term Benefits

By Stephen Spotswood CHARLESTON, SC — With bariatric surgery becoming more common and reliable, VA medical centers are employing the treatment more often in patients previously unable to lose weight and reverse co-morbidities associated with obesity. Questions remain, however, about… Read More

Exercise Improves Survival Rates for Diabetics with LVH

Achieving a certain level of physical fitness can improve survival rates of patients with diabetes who also have left ventricle hypertrophy (LVH), according to a new study.1 The research, presented at The Endocrine Society’s 94th Annual Meeting in Houston this… Read More

New Diabetes Guidelines Offer More Leeway for Primary-Care Physicians, Patients

By Annette M. Boyle SAN DIEGO — What is an appropriate blood glucose level for patients with diabetes? It depends, according to the latest position statement of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the European Association for the Study of… Read More

BP Treatment May Be Excessive For VA Patients with Diabetes – Too Much of a Good Thing

By Brenda L. Mooney ANN ARBOR, MI — VA clinicians may be doing too good of a job of controlling blood pressure in patients with diabetes, according to research suggesting that as many as 8% of those veterans may have… Read More

Strategies to Overcome Resistance and Get Diabetes Patients on Insulin Earlier

By Annette M. Boyle SAN DIEGO–Starting in 2010, the VA and DoD’s clinical practice guidelines recommended that clinicians add insulin therapy for patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus unable to meet HbA1c (A1c) goals with metformin and lifestyle modifications… Read More

Institutional Barriers Seen in VA MOVE Program Rollout

For the past five years, VA has struggled to implement a systemwide weight-reduction program to combat obesity rates among veterans receiving care. More than one-third of veterans receiving care qualified as obese in 2006, and VA believed that lowering obesity… Read More

Montana VA Program Replaces Insulin Syringes with Pens to Increase Compliance

By Annette M. Boyle FORT HARRISON, MT — For some veterans, “insulin resistance” is not only a physiological condition, it is a state of mind — one the VA Montana Healthcare System in Fort Harrison hopes to overcome with a… Read More

Researchers Building a Better Weight-Loss Simulator

A model created by NIH researchers challenges some commonly held diet beliefs, including that eating 3,500 fewer calories, or burning them through exercise, always results in a pound of weight loss. The mathematical model takes into consideration patient weight, diet… Read More

Treating a Million Diabetes Patients, VA Stays at Cutting Edge

With responsibility for treating diabetes in more than a million veterans in its primary-care population, VA is at the leading edge of care for the metabolic disease. For example, an article this spring in the Annals of Internal Medicine focused… Read More