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Medication Adherence Does Not Explain Black-White Differences in Cardiometabolic Risk Factor Control among Insured Patients with Diabetes

Among patients with diabetes, racial differences in cardiometabolic risk factor control are common. The extent to which differences in medication adherence contribute to such disparities is not known. We examined whether medication adherence, controlling for treatment intensification, could explain differences in risk factor control between black and white patients with diabetes. We identified three cohorts of black and white patients treated with oral medications and who had poor risk factor control at baseline (2009): those with glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) >8 % (n?=?37,873), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) >100 mg/dl (n?=?27,954), and systolic blood pressure (SBP) >130 mm Hg (n?=?63,641). Subjects included insured adults with diabetes who were receiving care in one of nine U.S. integrated health systems comprising the SUrveillance, PREvention, and ManagEment of Diabetes Mellitus (SUPREME-DM) consortium. Baseline and follow-up risk factor control, sociodemographic, and clinical characteristics were obtained from electronic health records. Pharmacy-dispensing data were used to estimate medication adherence (i.e., medication refill adherence [MRA]) and treatment intensification (i.e., dose increase or addition of new medication class) between baseline and follow-up. County-level income and educational attainment were estimated via geocoding. Logistic regression models were used to test the association between race and follow-up risk factor control. Models were specified with and without medication adherence to evaluate its role as a mediator. We observed poorer medication adherence among black patients than white patients (p?

Authors: Lafata JE; Karter AJ; Schmittdiel JA; Steiner JF; et al.

J Gen Intern Med. 2016 Feb;31(2):188-95.

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