New study reveals the range of co-morbidities faced by patients with type 2 diabetes

pharmafile | August 24, 2022 | News story | Research and Development  

A new study has revealed the range and type of illnesses that people with type 2 diabetes are living with, highlighting the urgent need for a more personalised approach to care for these patients.

The 1st and 5th most common comorbidities identified were hypertension and heart disease, conditions well known to have links with diabetes. For the first time, research has linked back pain, depression, and osteoarthritis as those included in the five most common conditions at diagnosis.

The study examined approximately 224,000 people with T2DM in the Discover-NOW dataset, a real-world primary care database from 2000 to 2020 covering 2.5 million people across North-West London linked to hospital records. Over 30% of patients had three or more comorbidities at diagnosis, increasing to 60% of patients ten years later.

Lead author of the study, Dr Jonathan Pearson-Stuttard, Head of Health Analytics at LCP, said: “While we expected hypertension and heart disease, known complications of diabetes, to be common in people living with type 2 diabetes, our findings that back pain, depression, and osteoarthritis are so common was unexpected. This highlights the breadth of ill-heath faced by people living with type 2 diabetes yet these conditions are not part of routine clinical and prevention guidelines. As multimorbidity increases and the clinical needs of patients evolve and become more unequal, guidelines and care pathways must adapt to be both more holistic and target those with greatest need. This would improve the population’s health, inequalities and in turn economic prosperity. “

Report co-author Dr Pall Jonsson, Programme Director for Data and RWE at NICE, added: “Around one in ten people over 40 in the UK are now living with a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, and that number is projected to rise to over 5 million by 2030. Until now there has been limited research on the impact of multi and co-morbidities across different patient groups and how this progresses during the course of the disease. This study has highlighted the large variations in clinical need within the patient group. The work is also showing us how the rich clinical data that reflects patients in practice – the real world data – can stimulate new research questions and can help inform future developments of clinical guidelines.”

Lina Adams 


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