Clinical Inertia Puts Diabetes Patients At Risk

Treatment delays prevent tight blood sugar control in type 2 diabetes patients.

Clinical inertia, a term that describes the delay of increasing medication needed for patients, is preventing tight control of blood sugars in type 2 diabetes patients.

A study published in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism found that the average waiting time for increased treatment from the start of insulin was 3.7 years. Prior evidence has found that maintaining tight control of blood sugar levels could lead to significant reductions in long-term related complications and mortality associated with type 2 diabetes.

The results of the study revealed that, of the 11,000 patients examined, only one-third of individuals who needed further medication actually received it.

“Clinical inertia is a global phenomenon, which is putting people with type 2 diabetes at further risk of preventable complications associated with the condition,” said researcher Kamlesh Khunti. “Failure by healthcare professionals to intensify medication in the pursuit of tighter glycemic control is due to a number of complex reasons related to patient and health care professional factors. However, we need to make great efforts to reverse these trends and improve patients reaching tight glucose targets from diagnosis of diabetes”

Researchers concluded that more analysis needs to be done to stop clinical inertia and patients should receive further and intensified treatment, if needed.