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This profile was last updated on 1/1/11  and contains information from public web pages.

Dr. Shari Bolen

Wrong Dr. Shari Bolen?

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations

  • Senior Clinical Fellow In Internal Medicine
    Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine , Baltimore


  • MD
  • MPH
47 Total References
Web References
Genetics Blog » 2011 » January, 1 Jan 2011 [cached]
"Sometimes newer is not necessarily better," says lead study author Shari Bolen, M.D., an internist at Hopkins. "Issues like blood sugar levels, weight gain and cost could be significant factors to many patients struggling to stay in good health," says Bolen, an instructor at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
"When you are dealing with an epidemic like diabetes, it is important for people to weigh their treatment options with their physician and to make informed decisions about which medication best suits their needs," says Bolen.
In the study, Bolen and her colleagues reviewed the scientific evidence from 216 previous studies and compared each drug for its clinical effectiveness, risks and costs.
Besides Bolen, other researchers involved in the study were Leonard Feldman, M.D.; Jason Vassy, M.D., M.P.H.; Lisa Wilson, B.S., Sc.M.; Hsin-Chieh Yeh, Ph.D.; Spyridon Marinopoulos, M.D., M.B.A.; Crystal Wiley, M.D., M.P.H.; Elizabeth Selvin, Ph.D.; Renee Wilson, M.S.; Eric Bass, M.D., M.P.H.; and Frederick Brancati, M.D., M.H.S.
"Our study showed that failure to ..., 10 June 2006 [cached]
"Our study showed that failure to appropriately intensify antihypertensive treatment is a very common problem in diabetes care, because physicians intensified antihypertensive treatment in only 12 percent of visits in which we found sub-optimally controlled blood pressure," said Shari Bolen, MD, Senior Clinical Fellow in Internal Medicine, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, in a recent interview.
"Through a review of medical records and pharmacy and claims data from 1999 to 2001, we identified 1,374 visits with sub-optimally controlled blood pressure, during which physicians intensified antihypertensive treatment in only 12 percent of visits," said Dr Bolen, who was lead author on the study.
"Several factors were associated with a 40 to 50 percent lesser likelihood of intensification including a higher glucose level or a history of coronary heart disease, suggesting in both instances that the physician focused on other clinical concerns to the detriment of attention to the hypertension problem," said Dr. Bolen.Co-management of the individual with a cardiologist yielded a similar lesser likelihood of intensification, suggesting that the physician was perhaps erroneously relying on the cardiologist to manage the blood pressure.
"Improvements in continuity of care and care coordination are possible targets to help improve outcomes in hypertension management for people with diabetes," said Dr. Bolen.
"It looks to be the safest," ..., 16 July 2007 [cached]
"It looks to be the safest," said Dr. Shari Bolen, a Johns Hopkins University researcher who led the review, which was published online Monday by the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Consumer Reports also published a consumer guide of the results.
Despite heavy marketing for newer drugs, which cost as much as $262 a month, "we didn't find any benefit" unless a patient could not tolerate an older one, Bolen said.
Joining us now to talk about ..., 29 Nov 2009 [cached]
Joining us now to talk about the findings is one of the researchers who led the review, Dr. Shari Bolen, an instructor with the Division of General Internal Medicine at Johns Hopkins University. Welcome, Dr. Bolen.
Dr. Bolen: Thanks for having me.
Rand: First, could you explain the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes?
Dr. Bolen: Type 1 Diabetes occurs when the body doesn't produce any insulin to help control blood sugar, and that can happen as a result of a virus or potentially an autoimmune disorder, and that's where the body attacks its own organs, in this case the pancreas, so it doesn't really work to secrete insulin. And this generally happens for children rather than adults, and requires people to be treated with regular insulin injections.
Rand: So what does your study tell us about the oral medications for type 2 diabetes?
Dr. Bolen: We typically monitor blood sugar for our type 2 diabetic patients with a hemoglobin A1c, and this is a measure of blood sugar control over the past three months. And in our review, that's the main measure for blood sugar that we looked at, so the hemoglobin A1c, and we saw that almost all the medications offer about a 1 point absolute reduction in your hemoglobin A1c, and that combining diabetes medications actually works synergistically or together to actually reduce your hemoglobin A1c even further.
Rand: Dr. Bolen, could you explain what it means to achieve this 1 percent reduction?
Dr. Bolen: Sure.
Dr. Bolen: Well, we also looked at intermediate effects of the medications.
Dr. Bolen: Yes, so we found that the older diabetes drugs appeared to have less risk of cardiovascular problems than some of the newer drugs, specifically the thiazolidinediones in the risk of congestive heart failure, and also, that these older drugs have the benefit of being less expensive than the newer drugs.
Dr. Bolen: We found that certain drugs can cause low blood sugar, and if your blood sugar goes too low, that's actually called hypoglycemia. In this case, second generation sulfonylureas, one of the older medications, and repaglinide, which is one of the newer medications, were both associated with more serious hypoglycemia than the other oral diabetes medications, and there has been one or two studies that suggest repaglinide may have less serious hypoglycemia if you're older - over sixty-five or in people who skip meals, but I think this still needs further investigation before we know for sure because there's only been one or two small studies. We also found that patients had noted gastrointestinal problems, such as diarrhea with metformin and acarbose. And that people who use metformin alone were more likely to experience diarrhea than if they took the metformin at a lower dose in combination with one of the other diabetes drugs. But, overall, we found that metformin had less risk of serious adverse events than the second generation sulfonylureas, or the thiazolidinediones.
Rand: Dr. Bolen, what else would you want people to know about diabetes?
Dr. Bolen: In 1980, type 2 diabetes was in 5 million Americans, and now in 2005, a couple years ago, it was up to 16 million and continues to increase.
Dr. Bolen: While there are a number of excellent drugs to treat type 2 diabetes, it will be very important for you to discuss with your physician which one will be right for you. Finally, it's extremely important to discuss with your doctor how to make eating right, exercise, and weight loss part of your overall treatment plan.
Rand: Dr. Shari Bolen, thank you so much for joining us today.
Dr. Bolen: Sure it's my pleasure.
Rand: Dr. Bolen led a review that compared oral medications to treat diabetes.
Many Doctors Aren't Treating Diabetes Aggressively Enough, 22 Feb 2005 [cached]
"There was a low rate of blood pressure medication intensification," said lead researcher Dr. Shari Bolen, a senior clinical fellow in internal medicine.
The review of medical records and pharmacy and claims data from 1999 to 2001 identified 1,374 visits by patients with uncontrolled blood pressure.Doctors intensified blood-pressure treatment in only 12 percent of the visits, the researchers found.
Patients were more likely to have their treatment intensified if they saw their regular doctor, Bolen said."There is a communication issue," she said.
SOURCES: Alexander Turchin, M.D., associate physician, division of endocrinology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston; Shari Bolen, M.D., senior clinical fellow in internal medicine, the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore; David L. Katz, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of public health, director, Prevention Research Center, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.; June 10, 2006, presentations, American Diabetes Association's 66th annual scientific sessions, Washington, D.C.
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