Adherence to statin therapy in patients with type 2 diabetes: An important dilemma

Shadi Farsaei, Ali Mohammad Sabzghabaee, Masoud Amini, Amir Hooshang Zargarzadeh


Background: Despite the importance of patients’ adherence to their drug treatments for achieving desired therapeutic goals and the proven role 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A inhibitors (statins) for the health status of patients with cardiovascular diseases, there is not enough information regarding diabetic patients’ adherence to statin therapy in developing countries. In this clinical study we aimed to assess the adherence of diabetes type 2 patients to statin therapy in a research based community clinic in Iran. Materials and Methods: In this prospective clinical study which was done at Isfahan Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Center, 204 diabetic type 2 patients under treatment with statin were interviewed twice and their demographic data (age, gender,body mass index, education), statin information (type, dose) and their serum lipid profile were recorded. Three months after the initial visits, patients were assessed using pill counting method and according to patients’ self-reporting and also assessed low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol goal attainment <100 mg/dl. Results: Adherence rate was 79.7% and 69% according to pill counting and self-reporting among study population. Moreover, 68.4% of patients achieved their LDL cholesterol goal of <100 mg/dl and adherent patients reached therapeutic goal significantly more than those who were considered non-adherence to statin therapy (P < 0.01). Conclusion: Adherence to statin therapy, as reflected by pill count method, is significantly related to LDL cholesterol goal achievement in patients with diabetes and dyslipidemia. Pill count method can be used to identify patients who are nonadherent to statin therapy and at high risk for failure to attain LDL cholesterol goals.

Key words: Diabetes, drug adherence, pill count method, statin

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