Everyone knows that type 2 diabetes is an epidemic caused by the modern lifestyle and diet - everyone that is except doctors, according to a new study. Researchers have discovered that doctors are taking a very casual view of the disease, often failing to suggest even a change of diet.
The problem is particularly apparent in the USA where 18 million people - or 6% of the total population - have the disease. And the reason? Health insurers pay low fees to doctors for advising on diabetes because it is a classic example of E&M, or evaluation and management. E&M work doesn't earn the bucks, procedures do.
Not that the doctor would have much to say, even if was prepared to offer advice from the goodness of his heart. Medical schools devote around five hours to diabetes treatment, and so doctors tend to learn about the disease while observing other physicians - who also don't know much.
Meanwhile the epidemic continues apace. Globally, the World Health Organization reckons that at least 171 million people have the disease, and this figure is expected to double by 2030.