Clinical characteristics, complications, comorbidities and treatment patterns among patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus in a large integrated health system

BMJ Open Diabetes Res Care. 2015 Jul 22;3(1):e000093. doi: 10.1136/bmjdrc-2015-000093. eCollection 2015.


Purpose: To compare the prevalence of diabetes-related complications and comorbidities, clinical characteristics, glycemic control, and treatment patterns in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) within a large integrated healthcare system in 2008 vs 2013.

Methods: An electronic health record system was used to create a cross-sectional summary of all patients with T2D as on 1 July 2008 and 1 July 2013. Differences between the two data sets were assessed after adjusting for age, gender, race, and household income.

Results: In 2008 and 2013, 24 493 and 41 582 patients with T2D were identified, respectively, of which the majority were male (52.3% and 50.1%) and Caucasian (79% and 75.2%). The mean ages (years) were 64.8 and 64.3. The percentages of patients across the defined A1C categories were 64.3 and 66.7 for <7%, 21.1 and 18.8 for 7-7.9%, 7.8 and 7.5 for 8-8.9%, and 6.8 and 7.0 for ≥9% in 2008 and 2013, respectively. The most prevalent T2D-related comorbidities were hypertension (82.5% and 87.2%) and cardiovascular disease (26.9% and 22.3%) in 2008 and 2013, respectively. Thiazolidinedione and sulfonylurea use decreased, whereas metformin and dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor use increased in the 5-year period.

Conclusions: Patients with T2D are characterized by a high number of comorbidities. Over 85% of the patients had an A1C<8% within our integrated health delivery system in 2008 and 2013. In 2008 and 2013, metformin therapy was the most commonly utilized antidiabetic agent, and sulfonylureas were the most commonly utilized oral antidiabetic agent in combination with metformin. As integrated health systems assume greater shared financial risk in newer payment models, achieving glycemic targets (A1C) and the management of comorbidities will become ever-more important, for preventing diabetes-related complications, as well as to ensure reimbursement for the medical care that is rendered to patients with diabetes.

Keywords: A1C; Chronic Diabetic Complications; Chronic Disease Epidemiology; Chronic Illness Management.