‘Alarming’ rates of insulin discontinuation in developing countries
medwireNews: A substantial proportion of diabetes patients living in resource-poor settings intermittently discontinue insulin for a variety of different reasons, IDMPS study results suggest.
Using data from Wave 7 of the study, involving 8303 diabetes patients (24% type 1, 76% type 2) from 24 countries in Africa, the Middle East, Eurasia, and South Asia, the researchers found that approximately 14% of people reported discontinuing insulin intermittently over the previous 12 months.
And when the number of months in which patients omitted insulin were counted, “it’s actually quite alarming,” said Juliana Chan (The Chinese University of Hong Kong) in her presentation at the 54th EASD Annual Meeting in Berlin, Germany. Patients with type 1 diabetes had not used insulin for an average of 3 months in the past year, while those with type 2 diabetes reported its omission for approximately 5–6 months.
The most common reason for insulin discontinuation was impact on social life, cited by 41.0% of participants with type 1 diabetes and 30.5% of those with type 2, followed by economic cost, fear of hypoglycemia, and lack of support.
“We can empower these people and provide easy access to education and ongoing support, and this might help improve adherence to insulin therapy,” concluded Chan.
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