Cardiologists see more patients with type 2 diabetes than endocrinologists
NEW ORLEANS — Adults with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease receive outpatient care from cardiologists more often than from endocrinologists, especially when CVD is also present, according to findings presented at the Endocrine Society Annual Meeting.
“Recent cardiovascular outcome trials demonstrate clear CV benefits of novel glucose-lowering agents,” Felona Gunawan, MD, of the section of endocrinology at the Yale School of Medicine and Yale-New Haven Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut, told Endocrine Today. “Treatment guidelines now recommend that these medications should be favored in patients with type 2 diabetes and CVD. However, currently endocrinologists are more familiar with and prescribe these medications more frequently than cardiologists.”
Gunawan and colleagues sought to explore the frequency with which patients with type 2 diabetes received care from a cardiologist or endocrinologist based on the notion that endocrinologists are more likely to prescribe beneficial glucose-lowering agents. They conducted a review of electronic health records in the Yale New Haven Hospital during 2017, paying particular attention to CVD diagnoses, cardiologist and endocrinologist encounters, and provider types.
A total of 78,878 adults with type 2 diabetes (mean age, 66.7 years; 51% women), including 31,639 with CVD, were identified. In this group, cardiologist visits (n = 51,954) outnumbered endocrinologist visits (n = 20,337) by 2.6 times. When considering only patients with type 2 diabetes and CVD, there were 5.3 times more cardiologist visits (n = 43,482) than those with an endocrinologist (n = 8,624). A cardiologist was seen 8.4 times more often than an endocrinologist by patients with congestive heart failure and six times more often by those with coronary artery disease.
“In order to capitalize on the CV benefits of the newer glucose-lowering agents, education programs pertaining to these emerging treatment paradigms should target cardiologists in addition to endocrinologists to hasten adherence to the latest guidelines and improve patient outcomes,” Gunawan said. – by Phil Neuffer
Gunawan F, et al. SUN-149. Presented at: The Endocrine Society Annual Meeting; March 23-26, 2019; New Orleans.
Disclosures: Gunawan reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the abstract for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.