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Patients with type 2 diabetes who take their oral medication only some of the time risk hospitalization. Using data from a managed care organization, researchers examined the link between nonadherence and subsequent hospitalization in 900 adult patients with type 2 diabetes. The results showed that, over a 12-month period, 28.9% of the patients were nonadherent to the antihyperglycemic regimen. The risk of hospitalization increased by >2-fold in patients with type 2 diabetes who had been nonadherent to their oral medications the year before.
The investigators noted that hospitalization was a strong possibility even after considering the effect of other illnesses and the patients' adherence to hypertension- and cholesterol-lowering medications. The study also showed that nonadherence to high blood pressure? and cholesterol-lowering medication, seen in 18.8% and 26.9% of the patients, respectively, was not significantly connected with an increased risk of hospitalization. (The findings were reported in Diabetes Care, September 2004.)