Impact of cancer diagnosis on persistence of oral antidiabetic drugs

Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2018 May;139:323-330. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2018.03.011. Epub 2018 Mar 9.


Aims: The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of cancer occurrence on persistence of oral antidiabetic drugs (OAD) in France.

Methods: A retrospective cohort including incident OAD users between 2006 and 2011 was set up using a permanent sample of health insurance beneficiaries (Echantillon Généraliste de Bénéficiaires, EGB). A Cox model was used to assess the association between cancer occurrence and OAD persistence. Non-persistence was defined as a gap in OAD treatment coverage between the end of a given prescription and a new one greater than or equal to 90 days. Cancer occurrence was studied as a time-dependent variable.

Results: The study included 13,943 OAD users. Median follow-up was 760 days. After adjustment for age, sex, first OAD used, type of prescriber and polypharmacy, non-persistence risk was higher after a diagnosis of cancer: (HR: 1.93 and IC 95% 1.69; 2.21). Subgroup analyses according to cancer localization found a higher risk of non-persistence for lung cancer (HR: 2.66 and IC 95% 1.68; 4.23) and colorectal cancer (HR: 2.02 and IC 95% 1.40; 2.91).

Conclusions: Our findings indicate there is an association between cancer diagnosis and OAD non-persistence. Additional studies of this type would be useful to evaluate the association between cancer diagnosis and persistence of treatment of other chronic diseases.

Keywords: Cancer survivors; Medication compliance; Observational study; Patient education; Type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Databases, Factual
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / psychology
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Male
  • Medication Adherence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / complications*
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Neoplasms / psychology
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Hypoglycemic Agents