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Insulin refusal found in 30 per cent of people with type 2

By Editor
6th October 2017

Three in 10 adults with type 2 diabetes decline taking insulin when it’s initially recommended, according to research.

A team from Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) revealed that by the time those who have been prescribed the treatment actually start to take insulin, which can often be up to two years later, blood glucose levels had increased even further.

Dr Alexander Turchin, director of quality in diabetes in the division of endocrinology, diabetes and hypertension at BWH, said: “Unfortunately, patients being reluctant to start insulin therapy when it’s recommended is not uncommon.

“Many clinicians have encountered this phenomenon, but until our study it was not known just how prevalent delays in insulin initiation are. As physicians, we need to make sure that these patients are making fully informed decisions and that we understand their perspective to ensure they are treated effectively.”

The study involved designing a computer program which analysed electronic doctor notes of BWH patients from 2000 to 2014. They were able to identify people with type 2 diabetes who initially declined insulin therapy.

They found that of the 3,295 people who were included in the trial, almost a third declined their doctor’s advice to begin insulin at the time the recommendation was made. People who initially declined, but ultimately accepted the recommendation to start insulin, on average, started the insulin therapy more than two years later, during which time their blood glucose levels had increased further.

The findings have been published in the Diabetic Medicine journal. To read the paper, click here.

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