HealthDay News — Cardiologists are the highest represented specialists among patients with diabetes, according to a research letter published online Oct. 23 in JAMA Cardiology.
Ravi B. Patel, M.D., from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, and colleagues used the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention U.S. Diabetes Surveillance System to query state-specific diabetes prevalence and incidence among adults in 2016. The relative density of incident diabetes cases was estimated per specialist in each state.
The researchers found that cardiologists were the highest represented specialists in 2016, followed by endocrinologists and nephrologists (22,848, 7,793, and 7,504, respectively). A new diabetes diagnosis was received by 1.9 million U.S. adults in 2016, with age-adjusted prevalence varying from 6.2 percent in Colorado to 13.7 percent in Puerto Rico. There were an estimated 81 incident diabetes cases per cardiologist, ranging from 30:1 in Washington D.C. to 154:1 in Alaska. A larger per-specialist case volume and wider distribution was seen for endocrinologists (overall, 238:1; range, 37:1 [Washington, D.C.] to 667:1 [Wyoming]) and nephrologists (overall, 248:1; range, 46:1 [Washington, D.C.] to 2,000:1 [Vermont]).
“Cardiologists appear well positioned to participate in diabetes care given their numbers and distribution relative to diabetes cases,” the authors write. “We believe cardiologists should be integral members of the multidisciplinary care team to promote equitable access for this growing at-risk population.”
One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.