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Role of Diabetes Management in Occupational Health

Perceptions and Practices of Occupational and Environmental Medicine Providers

VanDam, Isaac, MPH; Dai, Jessica, BA; Rosenman, Kenneth, MD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: February 2019 - Volume 61 - Issue 2 - p 115–119
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001488

Objective: Diabetes mellitus is a common and costly disease, affecting millions of working age adults in the United States. Although many risk factors for diabetes are well described and manageable, the management of diabetes in the occupational setting is not well defined.

Methods: This study used a 17-item survey to explore the practices and perceptions of occupational medicine providers in Michigan on the management and prevention of diabetes in the workplace.

Results: Most providers utilize many strategies to manage diabetes. Nonetheless, results from the survey demonstrate variability in practices. Most providers indicate that specific guidelines for caring for workers with diabetes would be useful.

Conclusion: A specific guideline would help delineate the role of an occupational health provider in managing diabetes and support better outcomes for the many patients with diabetes who work.

Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan (Mr VanDam); Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, Rochester, Michigan (Ms Dai); Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, East Lansing, Michigan (Dr Rosenman).

Address correspondence to: Isaac VanDam, MPH, 10300 Saratoga St, Oak Park, MI 48237 (

Funded by Michigan Occupational and Environmental Medicine Education Fund.

Clinical significance: This paper shows that there is variation in how occupational medicine physicians manage workers with diabetes and the need for more attention paid to the importance of work shifts on diabetes control. Occupational medicine practitioners responded that a guideline that delineated their role in managing diabetes would be useful

The author reports no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2019 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine