The Medical Management of Hyperglycemia Over a 10-Year Period in People With Diabetes
OBJECTIVE The purpose of the study was to examine changes in the medical management of glycemia in diabetes and its relation to changes in hyperglycemia as measured by glycated hemoglobin.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS A total of 765 patients with younger-onset diabetes diagnosed before 30 years of age and 533 older-onset diabetic patients participated in a population-based study in southern Wisconsin, at baseline (1980–1982), at 4 years (1984–1986), and at 10 years (1990–1992). Glycated hemoglobin, the presence of complications, and information regarding medical management of glycemia, hypoglycemic reactions, and socioeconomic factors were determined using standardized protocols at the three examinations.
RESULTS In the younger-onset group, there was a significant increase (P < 0.001) in the use of three or more insulin injections per day or in the use of an insulin infusion pump from 3.6% of the cohort at baseline to 24.4% at the 10-year follow-up. This increase was associated with female sex, the presence of gross proteinuria, more education, and better glycemic control at baseline. In the older-onset group, there was a significant (P < 0.05) increase in the proportion of patients taking insulin, from 49.2% at baseline to 61.9% at the 10-year follow-up. This was associated with being younger, having a longer duration of diabetes, having higher glycated hemoglobin values, and having more education at baseline, or developing proliferative diabetic retinopathy or macular edema between baseline and the 4-year follow-up.
CONCLUSIONS These data suggest a change in the pattern of use of insulin to treat people with diabetes. However, there is still a large number of individuals with poorly controlled diabetes in the population.
- Received October 3, 1995.
- Revision received December 21, 1995.
- Accepted December 21, 1995.
- Copyright © 1996 by the American Diabetes Association