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Trends in Glucose Lowering Drug Utilization, Glycemic Control, and Severe Hypoglycemia in Adults with Diabetes in Hong Kong 2002-2016

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posted on 13.10.2020 by Aimin Yang, Hongjiang Wu, Eric S.H. Lau, Ronald C.W. Ma, Alice P.S. Kong, Wing Yee So, Andrea O.Y. Luk, Juliana C.N. Chan, Elaine Chow
OBJECTIVE There has been a shift towards new classes of glucose lowering drugs (GLDs) in the past decade but no improvements in glycemic control or hospitalization rates due to severe hypoglycemia (SH) in previous surveys. We examined trends in GLDs utilization, glycemic control and SH rate among patients with diabetes in Hong Kong which introduced a territory-wide, team-based diabetes care model since 2000.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Using population-based data from the Hong Kong Diabetes Surveillance Database, we estimated age- and sex-standardized proportion of GLDs classes, mean hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels and SH rates in 763,809 diabetes patients aged≥20 years between 2002-2016.

RESULTS Between 2002-2016, use declined for sulfonylureas (62.9% to 35.3%) but increased for metformin (48.4% to 61.4%) and dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors (DPP-4i) (0.01% in 2007 to 8.3%). The proportion of patients with HbA1c of 6.0-7.0% (42-to-53 mmol/mol) increased from 28.6% to 43.4% while SH rate declined from 4.2 per 100-person-years to 1.3 per 100-person-years. The main improvement in HbA1c occurred between 2007 and 2014, decreasing from mean (SD) 7.6 (1.6)% (59.5 [19.0] mmol/mol) to 7.2 (1.7)% (54.8 [18.9] mmol/mol) (p<0.001). The 20-44 age group had the highest proportion of HbA1c≥9% (75 mmol/mol) and rising proportions not on GLDs (from 2.0% to 7.7%).

CONCLUSIONS In this 15-year survey, the modest but important improvement in HbA1c since 2007 coincided with diabetes service reforms, increase in metformin, decrease in sulfonylurea and modest rise in DPP-4i use. Persistently poor glycemic control and under-utilization of GLDs in the youngest group calls for targeted action.

Funding

Dr. Aimin Yang was supported by a CUHK Impact Research Fellowship Scheme.

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