Background: Clinical inertia is a failure to intensify treatment according to evidence-based guidelines, and can have both short- and long-term adverse effects for type 2 diabetes (T2D). The aim of the present study was to demonstrate the effects of clinical inertia on glycemic control and diabetes-related complications.
Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted at a university-based hospital in Thailand. Medical records were evaluated retrospectively from January 2010 to December 2014. Patients were classified into two groups: clinical inertia and non-inertia. Clinical inertia was defined as failure to initiate insulin within 3 months in patients with HbA1c ≥9 % who were already taking two oral antidiabetic agents.
Results: From 1206 records, 98 patients with mean HbA1c of 10.3 % were identified and enrolled in the study. The median follow-up time of these patients was 29.5 months and 68.4 % were classified into the clinical inertia group. The mean (± SD) HbA1c decrement in the clinical inertia and non-inertia groups was 0.82 ± 1.50 % and 3.02 ± 1.80 %, respectively, at 6 months (P < 0.001) and 1.46 ± 1.85 % and 3.04 ± 1.76 %, respectively, at the end of study (P < 0.001). Clinical inertia was associated with a significantly shorter median time to progression of diabetic retinopathy (DR); log rank test, P = 0.02 and a higher incidence of DR progression (10 vs 2.2 cases per 1000 person-months; P = 0.003). The adjusted incidence rate ratio for DR progression in the clinical inertia group was 4.92 (95 % confidence interval 1.11-21.77; P = 0.036). Being treated by general practitioners was the strongest risk factor associated with clinical inertia.
Conclusions: Clinical inertia can cause persistently poor glycemic control and speed up the progression of DR in T2D.
Keywords: Thailand; delayed insulin initiation; microvascular complication; poor glycemic control; 推迟启动胰岛素治疗,微血管并发症,血糖控制不佳,泰国.
© 2016 Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.