Antidiabetic prescriptions and glycemic control in German patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: a retrospective database study

Clin Ther. 2007 Feb;29(2):316-25. doi: 10.1016/j.clinthera.2007.02.012.


Objectives: This study examined patterns of antidiabetic treatment among individuals with type 2 diabetes in Germany and investigated potential differences in attainment of glycemic control associated with the use of specific antidiabetic regimens.

Methods: This was a retrospective database study. Data were obtained from the German IMS Disease Analyzer-MediPlus database. Patients aged >or=20 years who were identified as having type 2 diabetes and who underwent glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA(1c)) testing at least once between April 1, 2004, and December 31, 2004, were included in the analyses. Potential associations between age, sex, and diabetic complications and the use of specific antidiabetic medications were examined. Also examined were potential associations between attainment of the HbA(1c) target for glycemic control (56.5%), particular patient characteristics, and the use of specific antidiabetic medications.

Results: The study included data from 5135 patients with type 2 diabetes (mean age, 67 years; 2702 men, 2433 women; mean [SD] HbA(1c), 6.9% [1.2%]). The most commonly diagnosed comorbidities were hypertension (66.5%) and obesity (18.7%). There were no significant differences in mean age, sex, or comorbidities between patients categorized by HbA(1c) values <or=56.5% or >6.5%. The most commonly prescribed antidiabetic medications were metformin (20.4%), a sulfonylurea (11.7%), and oral combination therapy (10.9%). In the assessment of potential associations between selected patient characteristics and the receipt of specific antidiabetic medications, individuals were less likely to receive metformin monotherapy if they were aged >or=75 years (12.0%, compared with 21.4% of those aged 65-74 years and 24.7% of those aged <65 years; P < 0.001) or had a diagnosis of a diabetic complication (15.9%, compared with 21.2% in those without complications; P < 0.001). Among those who were more likely to receive insulin monotherapy were women (11.5%, compared with 9.6% of men; P = 0.025) and patients with diabetic complications (13.9%, compared with 9.8% of those without complications; P < 0.001). More than half (52.7%) of patients did not attain the HbA(1c) target. There were significant differences between patients attaining the HbA(1c) target and receipt of specific antidiabetic medications (P < 0.001). Patients treated with insulin monotherapy or oral plus insulin combination therapy were least likely to reach the HbA(1c) target (26.4% and 22.9%, respectively, attained glycemic control; both, P < 0.001). Only 179 (31.9%) of 562 patients treated with oral combination therapy achieved the HbA(1c) target (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Over half of these German patients with type 2 diabetes failed to attain the HbA(1c) target for glycemic control. Patients who were prescribed insulin monotherapy or combination therapy were least likely to achieve the target.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects*
  • Comorbidity
  • Databases, Factual
  • Diabetes Complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Insulin / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Metformin / therapeutic use
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / complications
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Sulfonylurea Compounds


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin
  • Sulfonylurea Compounds
  • Metformin