The Keys to Diabetes Management

Diabetes medication adherence tied to blood sugar control

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(RxWiki News) Taking medications as prescribed can make all the difference and this is no different for those with diabetes, according to a new study.

The payoff? A lower risk for poorly controlled blood sugar, this study found. Poorly controlled blood sugar in patients with diabetes can lead to kidney and heart disease, eye damage and death.

This study looked at almost 20,000 patients in Oregon and the state of Washington. The researchers tracked and calculated medication adherence through an electronic health records system.

Patients who took their diabetes medications as prescribed at least 80 percent of the time were 46 percent less likely to have poorly controlled blood sugar than those who didn't take their medications as prescribed.

"It's not that people are willfully not taking their medications, they just forget," said study author Harry Glauber, MD, of Kaiser Permanente, in a press release. "There's so much focus on new drugs and new technologies to improve diabetes care, but our study shows we could likely improve outcomes if we help patients do these three things: take their medications as prescribed, increase their exercise and manage their weight."

Ask your health care provider how you can help control your blood sugar.

This study was published in the American Journal of Pharmacy Benefits.

Kaiser Permanente funded this research. Information on potential conflicts of interest was not available at the time of publication.