Association of Potentially Modifiable Diabetes Care Factors With Glycemic Control in Patients With Insulin-Treated Type 2 Diabetes


Lauffenburger JC, Lewey J, Jan S, Lee J, Ghazinouri R, Choudhry NK. Association of Potentially Modifiable Diabetes Care Factors With Glycemic Control in Patients With Insulin-Treated Type 2 Diabetes. JAMA Network Open 2020;3:e1919645-e1919645.


Numerous factors are associated with the ability of patients with type 2 diabetes to achieve optimal glycemic control. However, many of these factors are not modifiable by quality improvement interventions. In contrast, the structure of how diabetes care is delivered, such as whether patients visit an endocrinologist or how prescriptions are filled, is potentially modifiable, yet its associations with glycemic control have not been rigorously evaluated.To investigate the association of diabetes care delivery with glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes using insulin.This retrospective cohort study used baseline claims and laboratory insurer data within a large pragmatic trial to identify individuals with type 2 diabetes using insulin with data for at least 1 hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) test result from before trial randomization (July 1, 2014, to October 5, 2016) and for key nonmodifiable patient factors as well as diabetes care delivery and behavioral factors measured before the HbA1c test. Analyses were conducted from February 4, 2017, to November 13, 2018.Multivariable modified Poisson regression was used to evaluate the independent associations of nonmodifiable patient factors and potentially modifiable diabetes care delivery and patient behavioral factors with achieving adequate diabetes control (ie, HbA1c level <8%). The extent of measured variation explained in glycemic control by these factors was also explored using pseudo R2 and C statistics.Of 1423 patients included, 565 (39.7%) were women, and the mean (SD) age was 56.4 (9.0) years. In total, 690 (48.5%) had HbA1c levels less than 8%. Age (relative risk [RR] per 1-unit increase, 1.01; 95% CI, 1.00-1.02), persistent use of basal insulin (RR, 1.20; 95% CI, 1.00-1.43), more frequent filling of glucose self-testing supplies (RR, 1.01; 95% CI, 1.01-1.02), visiting an endocrinologist (RR, 1.41; 95% CI, 1.19-1.67), and receipt of insulin prescriptions by mail order (RR, 1.23; 95% CI, 1.03-1.48) were all independently associated with adequate control. Measured potentially modifiable diabetes care factors explained more variation in adequate glycemic control than measured nonmodifiable patient factors (C statistic, 0.661 vs 0.598; pseudo R2 = 0.11 vs 0.04).These findings suggest that for patients with type 2 diabetes using insulin, the way in which care is delivered may be more strongly associated with achieving adequate control of HbA1c levels than patient factors that cannot be altered are. Given the potential for intervention, these care delivery factors could be the focus of efforts to improve diabetes outcomes.

Last updated on 01/27/2020