Diabetes Self-Management Blog

A recently published study of over 11,500 people with diabetes showed that a significant number—21%—do not take their blood-pressure–lowering, cholesterol-lowering, or blood-glucose–lowering pills regularly. Not surprisingly, the study found that these people have higher blood pressure, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, and HbA1c levels (a measure of blood glucose over time). They also have a much higher chance of being hospitalized or dying than people who take their medicines regularly.

The study, which was led by Dr. P. Michael Ho and published in the September 25 issue of the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, examined the effects of what it called “medication nonadherence.” People being studied were designated “nonadherent” if they did not fill their prescriptions often enough to be able to take their drugs at prescribed levels at least 80% of the time.

The people in the study who did not take their prescribed medicines regularly tended to be younger and have fewer illnesses other than diabetes. However, these factors did not protect them from increased rates of hospitalization or death. In fact, the people who did not adhere to their drug regimens had a 58% greater chance of ending up in the hospital and an 81% greater chance of dying than those who did adhere, even when other factors that may have contributed to these outcomes were accounted for.

A second study, also led by Dr. Ho and published in the same issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, followed 1,521 people who had been hospitalized for myocardial infarction (heart attack) for one year. These people had all been instructed to take aspirin, beta-blockers (used to treat high blood pressure), and statins (used to treat abnormal cholesterol levels). The researchers learned that about one in eight people stopped taking all three types of medicine after just one month, and one in five people stopped using one of the medicines in the same period. The people who stopped taking all their drugs had a much greater chance of dying in the following 11 months than those who continued to take at least one of the drugs.

While the takeaway message from these studies seems clear (take your medicine as directed!), the researchers understand that people with diabetes or heart disease who do not take their medicines regularly are not the only ones at fault—poor communication between health-care professionals and patients also contributes to nonadherence. They urge health-care professionals to assess whether or not people are taking their medicines during routine appointments. Other researchers suggest additional interventions such as electronic reminders for doctors, automated voice messages for people using drug therapy, and outreach from pharmacy staff.

If you are having trouble taking your medicines regularly for financial or other reasons, bring the issue up with a member of your health-care team so you can find a solution together.

POST A COMMENT       
  

Comments
  1. IS THERE A CURE OR A MEDICINE
    THAT CAN HELP DIABETES OR HELP OVER COME THIS DIEASE.

    Posted by OLGA |

Post a Comment

Note: All comments are moderated and there may be a delay in the publication of your comment. Please be on-topic and appropriate. Do not disclose personal information. Be respectful of other posters. Only post information that is correct and true to your knowledge. When referencing information that is not based on personal experience, please provide links to your sources. All commenters are considered to be nonmedical professionals unless explicitly stated otherwise. Promotion of your own or someone else's business or competing site is not allowed: Sharing links to sites that are relevant to the topic at hand is permitted, but advertising is not. Once submitted, comments cannot be modified or deleted by their authors. Comments that don't follow the guidelines above may be deleted without warning. Such actions are at the sole discretion of DiabetesSelfManagement.com. Comments are moderated Monday through Friday by the editors of DiabetesSelfManagement.com. The moderators are employees of Madavor Media, LLC., and do not report any conflicts of interest. A privacy policy setting forth our policies regarding the collection, use, and disclosure of certain information relating to you and your use of this Web site can be found here. For more information, please read our Terms and Conditions.


Oral Medicines
Statins May Reduce Risk of Nerve Damage, Other Diabetes Complications (09/18/14)
New Metformin Combo Drug Approved for Type 2 Diabetes (08/13/14)
FDA Approves New Oral Drug for Type 2 Diabetes (08/07/14)
New SGLT Drugs Coming (07/23/14)

Diabetes Research
Can Grapefruit Juice Prevent Weight Gain, Increase Insulin Sensitivity? (10/16/14)
Low-Carb Diet Improves Quality of Life in Type 2 Diabetes (10/07/14)
Long Hours at Low-Income Jobs Linked to Increased Diabetes Risk (10/02/14)
Statins May Reduce Risk of Nerve Damage, Other Diabetes Complications (09/18/14)

Diabetes News
FDA Approves Remote Glucose-Monitoring Technology (10/24/14)
Can Grapefruit Juice Prevent Weight Gain, Increase Insulin Sensitivity? (10/16/14)
Low-Carb Diet Improves Quality of Life in Type 2 Diabetes (10/07/14)
Long Hours at Low-Income Jobs Linked to Increased Diabetes Risk (10/02/14)

 

 

Disclaimer of Medical Advice: You understand that the blog posts and comments to such blog posts (whether posted by us, our agents or bloggers, or by users) do not constitute medical advice or recommendation of any kind, and you should not rely on any information contained in such posts or comments to replace consultations with your qualified health care professionals to meet your individual needs. The opinions and other information contained in the blog posts and comments do not reflect the opinions or positions of the Site Proprietor.