Carried from the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, the large-scale research looked at nearly 20,000 patients from Kaiser Permanente in Oregon and Southwest Washington.
As opposed to request participants to rather the investigators could utilize the electronic health record of Kaiser Permanente .
“Our physicians may look in an individual’s electronic health record and quickly see how frequently patients are refilling their diabetes, diabetes, cholesterol and blood pressure drugs. If patients have been refilling drugs when they are supposed to, they are also likely taking them when they are supposed to,” explained lead author David Mosen,
“Throughout office visits we also ask patients if they are exercising and then enter this information into their medical record.”
The team also looked at many demographic and lifestyle variables to see which were most closely associated with poorly controlled blood glucose.
In their statistics they found that participants who took their oral diabetes drugs at least 80 percent of their time were 46 percent less likely to have poorly controlled blood glucose, in contrast to people who took their drugs less than 80 percent of their time.
They also found that people who exercised more or four times a week were 25 percent less likely to have poorly controlled blood glucose than people who exercised three or fewer times each week.
In addition to exercise, handling weight also had a positive impact on blood glucose, with those who were clinically obese — using a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more — 18 percent more likely to have poorly controlled blood glucose, in comparison to people who were not obese.
Poorly controlled blood glucose may result in other health conditions such as kidney disease damage, heart disease, hospitalization and even death.
According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA) approximately 29 million Americans have diabetes, and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey notes that 21 percent of adults with diabetes have poorly controlled blood glucose.
“It’s not that people are willfully not taking their drugs, they just forget,” stated co-author Harry Glauber, “There’s so much focus on new medications and new technologies to improve diabetes care, but our research shows we could likely improve outcomes if we help patients do these three things: take their drugs as prescribed, raise their workout and manage their weight,” he reasoned.
The results are available online printed in the journal American Journal of Pharmacy Benefits.