Prevalence and co-prevalence of comorbidities among patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus

Curr Med Res Opin. 2016 Jul;32(7):1243-52. doi: 10.1185/03007995.2016.1168291. Epub 2016 Apr 4.


Objective: Patients with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) often have multiple comorbidities which may impact the selection of antihyperglycemic therapies. The purpose of this study was to quantify the prevalence and co-prevalence of common comorbidities.

Research design and methods: A retrospective study was conducted using the Quintiles Electronic Medical Record database. Adult patients with T2DM who had ≥1 encounter from July 2014 to June 2015 (index period) with ≥1 year medical history available were included. The index date was defined as the most recent encounter date during the 1 year index period.

Main outcome measures: Comorbid conditions were assessed using all data available prior to and including the index date. Patient characteristics, laboratory measures, and comorbidities were summarized via descriptive analyses, overall and by subgroups of age (<65, 65-74, 75+ years) and gender.

Results: Of the 1,389,016 eligible patients, 53% were female and the median age was 65 years. 97.5% of patients had at least one comorbid condition in addition to T2DM and 88.5% had at least two. The comorbidity burden tended to increase in older age groups and was higher in men than women. The most common conditions in patients with T2DM included hypertension (HTN) in 82.1%; overweight/obesity in 78.2%; hyperlipidemia in 77.2%; chronic kidney disease (CKD) in 24.1%; and cardiovascular disease (CVD) in 21.6%. The highest co-prevalence was demonstrated for the combination of HTN and hyperlipidemia (67.5%), followed by overweight/obesity and HTN (66.0%), overweight/obesity and hyperlipidemia (62.5%), HTN and CKD (22.4%), hyperlipidemia and CKD (21.1%), HTN and CVD (20.2%), hyperlipidemia and CVD (20.1%), overweight/obesity and CKD (19.1%) and overweight/obesity and CVD (17.0%).

Limitations: Limitations include the potential for misclassification/underreporting due to the use of diagnostic codes, drug codes, or laboratory measures for identification of medical conditions.

Conclusions: The vast majority of patients with T2DM have multiple comorbidities. To ensure a comprehensive approach to patient management, the presence of multimorbidity should be considered in the context of clinical decision making.

Keywords: Comorbidities; Hyperlipidemia; Hypertension; Multimorbidity; Obesity; Prevalence; Type 2 diabetes.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / complications
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Comorbidity
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias / complications
  • Hyperlipidemias / epidemiology
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Overweight / complications
  • Overweight / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies