Objective: To examine the level of adherence to clinical practice guidelines and its relationship to outcomes in patients with diabetes.
Design: Retrospective cohort study.
Setting: A tertiary teaching hospital in Korea.
Participants: Patients aged ≥18 years with diabetes (n = 4994) who visited the study hospital once or more during 2004.
Main outcome measures: The outcomes were mortality from the database of the Statistics Korea and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) incidence from ESRD registry in the Korean Society of Nephrology until December 2009.
Results: Testing rates for blood pressure, eye examination, HbA1c, renal function and lipid profiles were 93.9, 32.8, 84.9, 33.5 and 45.9%, respectively. The percentage of patients achieving each treatment goal was 27.8% for blood pressure, 44.2% for HbA1c and 49.4% for low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. There were 11.7% patients with composite outcome (death and/or ESRD). Male gender, level of HbA1c (<7%), presence of HbA1c data, checking eye examination, presence of data on urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio (UACR) and having anti-platelet medication were associated with better outcome.
Conclusions: The adherence to recommendations was unsatisfactory, especially in checking eye examination, testing UACR and LDL cholesterol, and achieving a target goal for each parameter. Guideline adherence was positively related to better prognosis. Active strategies to apply the guidelines to clinical practice should be developed to improve patient outcomes.