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Letter from the Editor #619: The Benefits of Mentoring and Metformin

We have all heard the phrase “Misery Loves Company,” and often times when someone is diagnosed with diabetes, their friends with diabetes bond with them so that they can both “suffer” from the disease. This week we have the results of a study from the University of Pennsylvania and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, showing that a more positive pairing of newly diagnosed patients with “experienced” patients can help them lower their HbA1c levels (see Item #6, Peer Mentoring Helps Reduce A1c a Full Point).

This idea of peer mentoring makes a lot of sense when you consider the ways that we as medical professionals are paired with more experienced practitioners during internships and residencies, and the value of learning from them. It would be interesting to see if each of us had a successful patient in our practice that would be willing to work with a newly diagnosed patient.

These associations might even work for our pre-diabetic patients, especially in light of research that shows that the risk of developing diabetes is increased if only one of the usual triad of problems are occurring (see Item #5, Three Independent Factors Increase Diabetes Risk). There is now more data out that using metformin can actually prevent the onset of diabetes and one could conclude that peer associations and metformin may be the best things for delaying the onset of diabetes. 

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Announcements:

dLife.com: April 1, 7PM ET on CNBC

Topics: dLife goes behind the scenes on the set of a TV series that dramatizes diabetes, and does it right. Featuring actress Kim Delaney. Plus, Chef Michel Nischan with a fresh Asian twist on a healthy fish dish; and tips on what to look for on a lab report. Sundays on CNBC at 7 PM ET, 6 PM CT, and 4 PM PT. Catch up on dLife.com.

TCOYD Conference and Health Fair, Hawaii Convention Center, Honolulu, Hawaii, Saturday, April 14, 2012

Join Steven Edelman, MD and Featured Speakers, Philip Bruno (Team Type 2) and Frank DeLima (Portuguese Prince of Hawaiian Comedy) for a day focused on diabetes education, health and wellness.

Please answer this week’s poll: Which is most effective for patient education?

Vote in and then see results from previous polls here.

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Check out this week’s “Test Your Diabetes Knowledge” question!

Dave Joffe, Editor-in-chief