Update from the ACP: New Hemoglobin A1c Targets for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
Learning Objectives and CME/Disclosure Information
This activity is intended for healthcare providers delivering care to women and their families.
After completing this activity, the participant should be better able to:
1. State the ACP guidelines for HbA1C targets in non-pregnant adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus 2. Discuss, based on the literature, the reason that ACP has chosen higher HbA1c targets
Estimated time to complete activity: 0.25 hours
Susan J. Gross, MD, FRCSC, FACOG, FACMG
President and CEO, The ObG Project
Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest
Postgraduate Institute for Medicine (PIM) requires faculty, planners, and others in control of educational content to disclose all their financial relationships with ineligible companies. All identified conflicts of interest (COI) are thoroughly vetted and mitigated according to PIM policy. PIM is committed to providing its learners with high quality accredited continuing education activities and related materials that promote improvements or quality in healthcare and not a specific proprietary business interest of an ineligible company.
The PIM planners and others have nothing to disclose. The OBG Project planners and others have nothing to disclose.
Faculty: Susan J. Gross, MD, receives consulting fees from Cradle Genomics, and has financial interest in The ObG Project, Inc.
Planners and Managers: The PIM planners and managers, Trace Hutchison, PharmD, Samantha Mattiucci, PharmD, CHCP, Judi Smelker-Mitchek, MBA, MSN, RN, and Jan Schultz, MSN, RN, CHCP have nothing to disclose.
Method of Participation and Request for Credit
Fees for participating and receiving CME credit for this activity are as posted on The ObG Project website. During the period from March 19 2018 through 07/15/2022, participants must read the learning objectives and faculty disclosures and study the educational activity.
If you wish to receive acknowledgment for completing this activity, please complete the post-test and evaluation. Upon registering and successfully completing the post-test with a score of 100% and the activity evaluation, your certificate will be made available immediately.
For Pharmacists: Upon successfully completing the post-test with a score of 100% and the activity evaluation form, transcript information will be sent to the NABP CPE Monitor Service within 4 weeks.
Joint Accreditation Statement
In support of improving patient care, this activity has been planned and implemented by the Postgraduate Institute for Medicine and The ObG Project. Postgraduate Institute for Medicine is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.
Physician Continuing Medical Education
Postgraduate Institute for Medicine designates this enduring material for a maximum of 0.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
Continuing Nursing Education
The maximum number of hours awarded for this Continuing Nursing Education activity is 0.2 contact hours.
The ACP has updated guidance to help providers better target hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) targets for the pharmacologic treatment of type 2 diabetes. The ACP recommends
Clinicians should personalize goals for glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes on the basis of a discussion of benefits and harms of pharmacotherapy, patients’ preferences, patients’ general health and life expectancy, treatment burden, and costs of care.
Clinicians should aim to achieve an HbA1c level between 7% and 8% in most patients with type 2 diabetes.
Clinicians should consider deintensifying pharmacologic therapy in patients with type 2 diabetes who achieve HbA1c levels less than 6.5%.
Clinicians should treat patients with type 2 diabetes to minimize symptoms related to hyperglycemia and avoid targeting an HbA1c level in patients with a life expectancy less than 10 years due to advanced age (80 years or older), residence in a nursing home, or chronic conditions (such as dementia, cancer, end-stage kidney disease, or severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or congestive heart failure) because the harms outweigh the benefits in this population.
Other guidelines reviewed in this document include
The ADA guidelines set the following targets
<7% for the general population
Consider more stringent goals (<6.5%) for selected patients without significant hypoglycemia
Short duration of diabetes
Type 2 diabetes treated with lifestyle or metformin only
Long life expectancy
Note: The ADA has issued a statement that it is “deeply concerned by the new guidance” and “that a reasonable A1c goal for many nonpregnant adults with type 2 diabetes is less than 7 percent based on the available evidence to date from the ACCORD, ADVANCE, VADT and UKPDS international clinical trials, which were evaluated and incorporated into ADA’s Standards of Care.” (see ‘Learn More – Primary Sources’ below)
Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) guideline is similar to ADA
≤6.5% if target can be achieved safely
6.5% for patients managed with
Lifestyle and diet
Lifestyle and diet with single drug and no hypoglycemia
7% for patients on medications associated with hypoglycemia
Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement
< 7% to < 8% based on patient factors
6% to 7% for patients with a life expectancy > 10 to 15 years and no or mild microvascular complications
7% to 8.5% for those with established microvascular or macrovascular disease, comorbid conditions, or a life expectancy of 5 to 10 years
8% to 9% for those with a life expectancy <5 years, significant comorbid conditions, advanced complications of diabetes, or difficulties in self-management attributable to mental status, disability, or other factors (12)
Review of Literature
Overall, the ACP did not find that the benefits of lower HbA1c targets justified potential risks
ACP reviewed 5 large RCTs comparing intensive (achieved HbA1c levels, 6.3% to 7.4%) versus less intensive (achieved HbA1c levels, 7.3% to 8.4%) treatment targets
Main effect: More intensive glycemic control resulted in small absolute reductions in risk for microvascular surrogate events (e.g., retinopathy on ophthalmologic screening) but not clinical events such as loss of vision
One trial of metformin in overweight adults showed a reduction in all-cause and diabetes-related death through at least 10 years
In all studies, more intensive therapy required higher dose medications and was associated with more adverse events (including increased risk of death in 1 study)
NOTE: All guidelines allow for higher HbA1c targets depending on comorbid conditions and limited life expectancy
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Disclosure of Unlabeled Use
This educational activity may contain discussion of published and/or investigational uses of agents that are not indicated by the FDA. The planners of this activity do not recommend the use of any agent outside of the labeled indications.
The opinions expressed in the educational activity are those of the faculty and do not necessarily represent the views of the planners. Please refer to the official prescribing information for each product for discussion of approved indications, contraindications, and warnings.
Participants have an implied responsibility to use the newly acquired information to enhance patient outcomes and their own professional development. The information
presented in this activity is not meant to serve as a guideline for patient management. Any procedures, medications, or other courses of diagnosis or treatment discussed or suggested in this activity should not be used by clinicians without evaluation of their patient’s conditions and possible contraindications and/or dangers in use, review of any applicable manufacturer’s product information, and comparison with recommendations of other authorities.
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