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Number of non-diabetic drugs: A simple comorbidity indicator for diabetes?

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Paula Whitty, Professor Martin Eccles, Dr Nick Steen, Emerita Professor Elaine McCollORCiD


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Introduction: The number of non-diabetic drugs, taken by a patient with diabetes at any one point in time, has been validated in previous studies as a comorbidity indicator. Aim: The aim of the paper is to examine the relationship between this comorbidity indicator and health status in people with Type 2 diabetes. Method: The analysis presented is from a prospective cohort study of people with Type 2 diabetes before and after commencing insulin therapy, with simultaneous collection of health status, clinical and other comparative data. Results: Of the 48 people for whom both health status and drug data were available, 26 (54%) were taking at least one non-diabetic drug and 16 (33%) were taking 3 or more non-diabetic drugs, at the baseline assessment. There were no significant relationships between number of non-diabetic drugs taken, and age, duration of diabetes or baseline HbA1c measurements. However, there were statistically significant relationships between the number of non-diabetic drugs and health status, in terms of depression and physical function. Conclusion: Drug data are routinely recorded in primary care and therefore the number of non-diabetic drugs is a potentially widely available indicator. This indicator could be a useful, simple addition to datasets that not only proxies comorbidity but also relates to patients' physical function and depression status.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Whitty PM, Eccles MP, Steen IN, Mccoll E, Hutchinson A, Meadows K, Hewison J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Pharmacy World and Science

Year: 2001

Volume: 23

Issue: 4

Pages: 145-147

Print publication date: 01/01/2001

ISSN (print): 0928-1231

ISSN (electronic): 2210-7711

Publisher: Springer Netherlands


DOI: 10.1023/A:1011895532488

PubMed id: 11599200


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