Many Diabetics Don’t Take Their Meds & More, Risking Their Health

Filed under: Health — @ October 3, 2006

Interesting follow-up to the story I wrote earlier about the man with diabetes who killed a police officer in a skirmish.

About 21 percent of people with diabetes don’t regularly take their blood-sugar lowering, blood-pressure lowering or cholesterol-lowering pills, found a recent study of 11,532 diabetes patients.

Reuters Health reported that people nonadherent to treatment had higher blood pressure, higher levels of artery-clogging LDL cholesterol and higher blood sugar levels, indicating poor diabetes control.

Importantly, Dr. P. Michael Ho of the Denver VA Medical Center and colleagues report, patients who did not adhere to their medications had a 58-percent higher odds of being hospitalized and an 81-percent higher odds of dying than those who took their medications as prescribed. This was true even after the researchers accounted for factors that may also have contributed to these outcomes.

“Incremental increases in medication adherence were associated with improved outcomes,” Ho and colleagues report in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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