Introduction: Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes-2021. Diabetes Care. 2021 Jan;44(Suppl 1):S1-S2.
Diabetes is a complex, chronic illness requiring continuous medical care with multifactorial risk-reduction strategies beyond glycemic control. Ongoing diabetes self-management education and support are critical to preventing acute complications and reducing the risk of long-term complications. Significant evidence exists that supports a range of interventions to improve diabetes outcomes.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) “Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes,” referred to as the Standards of Care, is intended to provide clinicians, patients, researchers, policy makers, and other interested individuals with the components of diabetes care, general treatment goals, and tools to evaluate the quality of care. The Standards of Care recommendations are not intended to preclude clinical judgment and must be applied in the context of excellent clinical care, with adjustments for individual preferences, comorbidities, and other patient factors. For more detailed information about the management of diabetes, please refer to Medical Management of Type 1 Diabetes (1) and Medical Management of Type 2 Diabetes (2).
The recommendations in the Standards of Care include screening, diagnostic, and therapeutic actions that are known or believed to favorably affect health outcomes of patients with diabetes. Many of these interventions have also been shown to be cost-effective (3,4).
The ADA strives to improve and update the Standards of Care to ensure that clinicians, health plans, and policy makers can continue to rely on it as the most authoritative source for current guidelines for diabetes care.