Comorbidity Management in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes

The Influence of Personal Characteristics

Comorbid conditions complicate the care of patients with type 2 diabetesA study in Cardiovascular Diabetology set out to explore the personal characteristics that may influence a person’s ability to manage hypertension and high blood cholesterol (dyslipidemia) while living with type 2 diabetes (T2D).

The study, “Personal attributes that influence the adequate management of hypertension and dyslipidemia in patients with type 2 diabetes. Results from the DIAB-CORE Cooperation,” was published online ahead of print in October 2012.

The study authors note that hypertension and dyslipidemia are often poorly controlled in people with T2D. They argue that a better understanding of the individual characteristics that influence this lack of control can help providers target vulnerable patient groups.

The researchers examined data on 1,287 people with T2D. Of the sample, 1,048 had hypertension, and 636 had dyslipidemia. The analysis was based on data from the DIAB-CORE project which pooled information from 5 regional studies and 1 nationwide study in Germany (the studies were conducted between 1997 and 2006).

The study authors compared individual socioeconomic and lifestyle characteristics with patients’ ability to control their blood pressure and cholesterol.  Whether or not patients were taking antihypertensive or lipid lowering treatments was also measured and assessed.

The results of the study showed that in patients with T2D, uncontrolled blood pressure was more prevalent in men, people with low body mass index (BMI), people who lacked a history of heart attacks, and people from certain regions studied.  Uncontrolled blood lipid levels were also associated with being male, not having a history of heart attacks, and the study site.

Additionally, participants who were male, people younger in age, people with a lower BMI, and individuals who had no history of heart attacks or stroke had a higher chance of receiving no pharmacotherapy for hypertension. Patients who were male and who had no history of heart attacks had a lower chance of having received lipid lowering medications for dyslipidemia.

The study authors conclude that the individual characteristics that lead to the greatest risk of uncontrolled comorbidities and lack of pharmacotherapy in people with type 2 diabetes are being male, being younger, having a low BMI, and having no history of cardiovascular disease.

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