Over many years, the 77-year-old patient has managed to control his Type 2 diabetes. Thanks in part to daily doses of a drug that reduces blood sugar, his hemoglobin A1c (an average measure of recent blood glucose control) is a very low 6.5 percent.
Like a lot of older people, he copes with multiple medical conditions, including high blood pressure and severe kidney disease. But with four prescription drugs, plus Tylenol for lower back pain, he’s doing reasonably well.
Oh, and he’s a hypothetical example, concocted by researchers at the University of Michigan and the Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System. They sent this fictional case study to primary-care professionals at Veterans Affairs medical centers across the country and asked a series of questions about the man’s treatment.