Intensification of Diabetes Therapy and Time Until A1C Goal Attainment Among Patients With Newly Diagnosed Type 2 Diabetes Who Fail Metformin Monotherapy Within a Large Integrated Health System
OBJECTIVE “Clinical inertia” has been used to describe the delay in the intensification of type 2 diabetes treatment among patients with poor glycemic control. Previous studies may have exaggerated the prevalence of clinical inertia by failing to adequately monitor drug dose changes and nonmedication interventions. This project evaluated the intensification of diabetes therapy and hemoglobin A1c (A1C) goal attainment among patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes when metformin monotherapy failed.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS The electronic health record at Cleveland Clinic was used to identify patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes between 2005 and 2013 who failed to reach the A1C goal after 3 months of metformin monotherapy. A time-dependent survival analysis was used to compare the time until A1C goal attainment in patients who received early intensification of therapy (within 6 months of metformin failure) or late intensification. The analysis was performed for A1C goals of 7% (n = 1,168), 7.5% (n = 679), and 8% (n = 429).
RESULTS Treatment was intensified early in 62%, 69%, and 72% of patients when poor glycemic control was defined as an A1C >7%, >7.5%, and >8%, respectively. The probability of undergoing an early intensification was greater the higher the A1C category. Time until A1C goal attainment was shorter among patients who received early intensification regardless of the A1C goal (all P < 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS A substantial number of patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes fail to undergo intensification of therapy within 6 months of metformin monotherapy failure. Early intervention in patients when metformin monotherapy failed resulted in more rapid attainment of A1C goals.
- Received February 3, 2016.
- Accepted June 19, 2016.
- © 2016 by the American Diabetes Association.