Skipping Diabetes Drugs Boosts Hospitalization
People who need medication for their type 2 diabetes are at
increased risk for hospitalization if they fail to take their
drugs as prescribed, according to a new study.
Although glucose-lowering drugs, along with insulin, diet, and
exercise, are mainstays of diabetes treatment, many patients
don’t take their medications as prescribed, especially
if they have no symptoms, the researchers note. They sought to
determine whether nonadherence to medication among adults with
type 2 diabetes increased their risk of hospitalization.
Adherence was defined as the number of days a patient had a
supply of a particular medication, determined by when he or she
refilled the prescription. Patients were defined as nonadherent
if they had a supply of the medication less than 80% of the time.
The study included 900 men and women, nearly 46% of whom were
taking several glucose-
lowering drugs. The researchers gauged participants’ medication adherence
for 2000 and compared it with their likelihood of hospitalization in 2001.
About 29% of the patients were defined as nonadherent. These
patients were two and a half times more likely to be hospitalized
during the following year than those who refilled their diabetes
medicines as prescribed.
Volume 27, page 2149