American Diabetes Association® Issues First Updates to 2018 Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes


Michelle Kirkwood

Arlington, Virginia
April 11, 2018

The American Diabetes Association’s (ADA’s) Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes (Standards of Care) provide the latest in comprehensive, evidence-based recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of children and adults with type 1, type 2 or gestational diabetes; strategies to improve the prevention or delay of type 2 diabetes; and therapeutic approaches that reduce complications and positively affect health outcomes. New this year, the ADA is updating and revising the online version of the Standards of Care throughout the year with annotations for new evidence or regulatory changes that merit immediate incorporation. 

Today, the ADA revised its Standards of Care to include two important updates:

  • A revised definition of hypoglycemia (Sections 6 and 14): The December 2017 issue of Diabetes Care featured a Consensus Report from the ADA and others in the diabetes community on clinically meaningful outcome measures beyond A1C for type 1 diabetes, which categorized hypoglycemia into three levels. The ADA has updated Section 6 - Glycemic Targets and Section 14 - Diabetes Care in the Hospital of the 2018 Standards of Care to align with the hypoglycemia definitions in the Consensus Report.
  • The addition of two new, FDA-approved drugs (Section 8): In December 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the GLP-1 receptor agonist semaglutide and the SGLT2 inhibitor ertugliflozin as adjuncts to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes. These medications have been added to Section 8 - Pharmacologic Approaches to Glycemic Treatment.

The complete Standards of Care was published December 8, 2017, and is available online

“With the rapid pace that information becomes available, releasing new recommendations on an annual basis is no longer sufficient,” said ADA’s Chief Scientific, Medical and Mission Officer William T. Cefalu, MD. “Now that the Standards of Care will be updated throughout the year, clinicians, patients, researchers, payers and others interested in diabetes care will have the latest information at their fingertips whenever they need it. Ensuring timely availability and access to this information is critical to improving patient care and outcomes.”

The Standards of Care are established and revised annually by the ADA’s Professional Practice Committee (PPC). The committee is a multidisciplinary team of 12 leading U.S. experts in the field of diabetes care, and includes physicians, diabetes educators, registered dietitians and others whose experience includes adult and pediatric endocrinology, epidemiology, public health, lipid research, hypertension, preconception planning and pregnancy care. For the 2018 Standards of Care, two designated representatives from the American College of Cardiology reviewed and provided feedback for the PPC’s recommendations for cardiovascular disease and risk management. Members of the committee must disclose potential conflicts of interest with industry and/or relevant organizations; these disclosures are available on page S154 of the 2018 Standards of Care

About Diabetes Care®

Diabetes Care is a monthly journal of the American Diabetes Association dedicated to increasing knowledge, stimulating research and promoting better health care for people with diabetes. To achieve these goals, the journal publishes original articles on human studies in the following categories: clinical care, education and nutrition; epidemiology, health services; and psychosocial research; emerging treatments and technologies; and pathophysiology and complications. The journal also publishes the ADA’s recommendations and statements, clinically relevant review articles, editorials and commentaries. Topics covered are of interest to clinically oriented physicians, researchers, epidemiologists, psychologists, diabetes educators and other health professionals. Diabetes Care is the highest-ranked, peer-reviewed journal in the field of diabetes treatment and prevention.

About the American Diabetes Association

Nearly half of American adults have diabetes or prediabetes; more than 30 million adults and children have diabetes; and every 21 seconds, another individual is diagnosed with diabetes in the U.S. Founded in 1940, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization whose mission is to prevent and cure diabetes, and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. The ADA drives discovery by funding research to treat, manage and prevent all types of diabetes, as well as to search for cures; raises voice to the urgency of the diabetes epidemic; and works to safeguard policies and programs that protect people with diabetes. In addition, the ADA supports people living with diabetes, those at risk of developing diabetes, and the health care professionals who serve them through information and programs that can improve health outcomes and quality of life. For more information, please call the ADA at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit Information from both of these sources is available in English and Spanish. Find us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn).