Clinical inertia in newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes mellitus among patients attending selected healthcare institutions in Colombia

Diabetol Metab Syndr. 2024 Feb 15;16(1):42. doi: 10.1186/s13098-023-01245-0.


Background: The burden of disease of diabetes in Colombia have increased in the last decades. Secondary prevention is crucial for diabetes control. Many patients already treated remain with poor glycemic control and without timely and appropriate treatment intensification. This has been called in the literature as Clinical Inertia. Updated information regarding clinical inertia based on the Colombian diabetes treatment guidelines is needed.

Objective: To measure the prevalence of clinical inertia in newly diagnosed Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) patients in healthcare institutions in Colombia, based on the recommendations of the current official guidelines.

Methods: An observational and retrospective cohort study based on databases of two Health Medical Organizations (HMOs) in Colombia (one from subsidized regimen and one from contributory regimen) was conducted. Descriptive analysis was performed to summarize demographic and clinical information. Chi-square tests were used to assess associations between variables of interest.

Results: A total of 616 patients with T2DM (308 for each regimen) were included. Median age was 61 years. Overall clinical inertia was 93.5% (87.0% in contributory regimen and 100% in subsidized regimen). Patients with Hb1Ac ≥ 8% in the subsidized regimen were more likely to receive monotherapy than patients in the contributory regimen (OR 2.33; 95% CI 1.41-3.86).

Conclusions: In this study, the prevalence of overall clinical inertia was higher in the subsidized regime than in the contributory regime (100% vs 87%). Great efforts have been made to equalize the coverage between the two systems, but this finding is worrisome with respect to the difference in quality of the health care provided to these two populations. This information may help payers and clinicians to streamline strategies for reducing clinical inertia and improve patient outcomes.

Keywords: Adult; Clinical inertia; Glycaemic control; Type 2 diabetes mellitus.