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Twenty Percent Of Adults Taking Insulin Regularly Skip Insulin Doses

Posted Apr 05 2010 5:41am
More than half (57%) of adult patients taking insulin will purposely skip a dose on occasion and 20% do so routinely. This information is based on a survey of 502 American adult diabetics. The sampling was weighted to be "representative of insulin-using U.S. adults with diabetes".

Type 2 diabetics made up 77% of the survey that was reported in Diabetes Care. Overall, insulin is used by approximately 25% of all diabetic Americans. Race or ethnicity did not seem to be a factor in this study (73% of the participants were Caucasian).

Respondents who were more likely to skip insulin injections were younger, were students, had lower household incomes, had higher education levels, or did not eat a healthy diet. Skipping insulin also was more likely among respondents who either had to take more daily injections, said the injections interfered with daily activities, or reported pain or embarrassment from the injections.

Risk factors for intentionally skipping insulin injections differed for patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, separate analyses found. In respondents with type 1 diabetes, lack of a healthy diet, the number of daily insulin injections, and interference with daily activities were significantly associated with skipping insulin. In those with type 2 diabetes, age, education, income, pain, and embarrassment played greater roles in the risk for skipping insulin.

Previous studies of this trend have focused primarily on Type 1 diabetics and raised suspicions of an association between eating disorders and insulin omission, primarily as a means of weight control.

Whatever the reason, it certainly makes the management of a patient more challenging.

The full article in Internal Medicne News is here , but will require registration to read.

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