Drug Insurance Coverage Not a Factor in Diabetes Control

Patient age, ethnicity, and medical history contribute more to diabetes management

THURSDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Patient demographics, cardiometabolic health, ethnicity, and ongoing drug therapy contribute more to the care gap between patients with type 2 diabetes than access to private drug insurance coverage, according to a study published in the December issue of Diabetes Care.

Hwee Teoh, Ph.D., of St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, and colleagues sought to identify factors contributing to treatment gaps in patients with diabetes. The researchers studied 5,280 Canadian patients with type 2 diabetes between March 2006 and September 2007. They investigated how many of these patients achieved the target A1C level of 7.0 percent or lower.

The researchers found that older patients who were either black or of Asian origin; those who had diabetes for longer; those with lower baseline A1C, body mass index, cholesterol, and blood pressure levels; those with fewer antihyperglycemic agents (AHAs) prescribed; and those taking angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) were most likely to achieve the target A1C level. Access to different drug insurance coverage was not associated with changes in A1C level target achievement.

"Success in realizing target A1C was associated with patient age, ethnicity, baseline A1C, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, blood pressure, duration of diabetes, number of AHAs prescribed, and use of ARBs, but not with the type of drug insurance coverage," the authors write.

Several co-authors disclosed receiving grant support or speaking/consulting fees from various pharmaceutical companies.

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