An updated Diabetes Handbook for GPs includes new recommendations for patients in specific target groups including the young, elderly and people who fast during Ramadan.
Regarding the management of early-onset type 2 diabetes, the latest edition of Management of type 2 diabetes: A handbook for general practice recommends the referral of all children and young adults under the age of 25 years to an endocrinologist or, if not accessible, a specialist physician with an interest in diabetes.
RACGP President Dr Harry Nespolon said there was evidence of an 11% mortality over 20 years in a cohort of young adults diagnosed between 15 and 30 years of age.
“In early-onset type 2 diabetes, life expectancy is reduced by 14 years in males and 16 years in females compared to people without diabetes,” he said.
The Handbook also provides advice on avoiding the overtreatment of diabetes in older adults as well as the importance of developing individualised care plans for people in residential aged care facilities.
Another key challenge was better diabetes management for the most socially disadvantaged Australians who were twice as likely to develop diabetes.
Diabetes Australia CEO Professor Greg Johnson said other areas of focus in the Handbook were the use of technologies including smart phone apps, wearable technology, insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring, and the mental health burden of type 2 diabetes.
“It is very timely in National Diabetes Week when we’ve launched a new campaign – Heads Up on Diabetes – that highlights the mental and emotional health challenges of living with diabetes.”
He said about half of all people living with diabetes have experienced mental health challenges in the past year related to their diabetes.
“It is a relentless condition – day in, day out, 365 days a year. Over one third of people with diabetes feel burned out by their diabetes. So it is essential that GPs are able to recognise and support people with diabetes who might be struggling with the burden of diabetes management.”
Also updated recently is the Australian Type 2 Diabetes Management Algorithm, reflecting recent PBS changes and the listing of semaglutide (Ozempic) for the management of type 2 diabetes in combination with metformin or sulfonylurea or as triple therapy with metformin and sulfonylurea.