Diabetes research, technology, and treatments are rapidly changing, and with it, are recommendations for the best ways in which people with all types of diabetes can best manage their condition.
The American Diabetes Association has been releasing annual guidance for clinicians and providers since 1989.
The ADA’s current clinical practice recommendations are meant to provide treatment goals and guidelines and act as a tool to evaluate the quality of care in general diabetes management.
Members of the ADA Professional Practice Committee, an interprofessional expert committee, update the Standards of Care at least annually.
What has become the iconic gold standard in diabetes recommendations is sought after by millions, including this year’s latest release, The ADA Standards of Care for 2024, which includes person-first and inclusive language, and a few major updates.
“The latest ADA guidelines present pivotal updates for healthcare professionals, ensuring comprehensive, evidence-based care for diabetes management. These changes reflect our ongoing commitment to optimizing patient outcomes through informed, adaptable, and patient-centered healthcare practices,” said Robert Gabbay, MD, Ph.D., the ADA’s chief scientific and medical officer.
He continued, “The ADA’s Standards of Care ensures health care professionals, especially our primary care workforce, provide the best possible care to those living with diabetes.”
New in treatments
Treatments for preventing, delaying, and treating diabetes are ever-evolving. Notable updates this year include:
- New updates in managing obesity in people with diabetes, including approaches to reduce therapeutic inertia, be more person-centered, and use additional obesity measurements beyond body mass index, like waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, and waist-to-height ratio.
- New screening recommendations for heart failure in people with diabetes.
- Updated recommendations for peripheral arterial disease (PAD) screening in people with diabetes.
- Guidance on screening and using teplizumab, FDA-approved to delay the onset of type 1 diabetes.
- More guidance to use obesity medications, glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) agonists, or dual glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) receptor agonists, to reach sustained weight goals.
- A renewed focus on low blood sugar prevention and management.
- Emphasis on screening people with diabetes for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis in primary care settings.
- New emphasis on the evaluation and treatment of bone health and added attention to diabetes-specific risk factors for fracture.
- A focus on screening and management of people with diabetes and disabilities.
- Emphasis on enabling health care providers to master diabetes technology, using artificial intelligence for retinal screenings with necessary referrals, and embracing telehealth for diabetes self-management education.
New in tech
While insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors have long been recommended in the Standards of Care, this year highlighted the importance of CGM and automated insulin delivery systems to achieve better blood sugar goals.
New in research
Research drawing connections between viruses and diabetes and immunizations for people with diabetes was also updated in this year’s SOC:
Where you can access the Standards of Care in Diabetes 2024
A shortened version of the guidelines, known as the Abridged Standards of Care, will be made available for primary care providers in the journal Clinical Diabetes.
“At the ADA, we are focused on improving the quality of care for anyone who lives with diabetes, prediabetes, or who is at risk of developing diabetes. The Standards of Care are critical to ensuring the improved treatment of diabetes, a chronic disease that requires continuous care through a well-informed and coordinated healthcare team. These standards equip health care professionals with the gold standard in diabetes care, ensuring the highest level of service and knowledge in the field,” said Chuck Henderson, the ADA’s chief executive officer.