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Am Fam Physician. 1999;60(2):368

This issue of AFP contains two special features: a new series of articles developed in collaboration with the American Diabetes Association (ADA), and a new department containing handy collections of patient information handouts. The cover article, “Management of Diabetic Ketoacidosis,” by Abbas E. Kitabchi, Ph.D., M.D., and Barry M. Wall, M.D. (page 455), leads the “Diabetes Care Update” series, which bolsters the AAFP's 1998–99 Annual Clinical Focus (ACF) on the prevention and management of the complications of diabetes mellitus. Tying in with this topic is a group of four patient information handouts on diabetes that starts on page 647.

Guest editors of the diabetes article series are Bruce Zimmerman, M.D., president of the ADA and professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic, and Richard Kahn, Ph.D., the ADA's chief scientific medical officer. According to Dr. Zimmerman, the series will provide the latest information on delivering quality care to patients with diabetes, along with background and evidence for a variety of office-based procedures, new treatment options and effective ways of achieving desired outcomes.

The ADA has tailored the series for family physicians, who act as the gatekeepers of diabetes care in the United States. Dr. Zimmerman recognizes that family physicians provide the lion's share of care for patients with diabetes, and that quality of care is key to preventing the serious complications of diabetes. Articles in the ADA series will provide the up-to-the-minute knowledge on achieving desired outcomes that is critical to health care delivery.

Dr. Kahn says that the authors of articles in the ADA series are nationally known clinician–scientists who are experts in health care delivery in diabetes. The series was carefully thought out to encompass all aspects of diabetes care as practiced by family physicians. Topics in the series include the diabetic foot, nutrition and exercise, tight glucose control in type 2 diabetes (formerly known as non–insulin-dependent diabetes), medical practice guidelines, and coronary artery disease in diabetic patients.

The four patient information handouts that appear in the back of this issue provide an overview of diabetes and diabetes care, instructions on using insulin, and exercise and nutrition in patients with diabetes. The next issue of AFP will contain a second group of patient information handouts on diabetes, covering foot care, eye care, diabetic neuropathy and gestational diabetes. AFP's “Patient Information Collections” will offer updates of the best of AFP's patient information materials, organized into related topics.

For clinicians who are at the frontline of diabetes care, the ADA series will certainly be top-priority reading, thanks to Drs. Zimmerman and Kahn, and the ADA. For readers who like to gather AFP's patient information handouts, we hope the new patient information collections will serve as a useful resource.

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Copyright © 1999 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

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