Initial and subsequent therapy for newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes patients treated in primary care using data from a vendor-based electronic health record


  • These data were presented at the 26th International Conference on Pharmacoepidemiology, Brighton, UK, August 20, 2010.

S. West, RTI International, 3040 Cornwallis Road, PO Box 12194, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709–2194, USA. E-mail:



Diabetes is a leading cause of death and disability, and its prevalence is increasing. When diet fails, patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) are prescribed oral hypoglycemics for glycemic control. Few studies have explored initial use or change from initial oral hypoglycemic therapy in the primary care setting. We aimed to describe the utilization of initial oral hypoglycemics among newly diagnosed patients with diabetes from 1998–2009 and changes from initial to subsequent therapy among patients prescribed older oral hypoglycemic agents using electronic health records.


This observational cohort study used electronic health records from newly diagnosed patients with T2DM between 1 January 1998 and 31 March 2009 at two large health systems in the USA. Oral hypoglycemics included older (biguanide, sulfonylurea, and thiazolidinedione) and newer agents (incretin mimetic agents, alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, and D-phenylalanine derivatives). Multinomial regression models were fit to evaluate initial older oral hypoglycemic medication. We used incidence density sampling and conditional logistic regression models to evaluate predictors of regimen change.


Most patients were treated from the biguanide class of oral hypoglycemics (67%), but there were differences in initial prescribing by age and race. HbA1c (Odds Ratio for HbA1c 7.0–8.9 vs < 7.0, 5.87 [95% Confidence Interval: 3.62–9.52]; Odds Ratio for HbA1c ≥ 9 vs < 7.0, 20.25 [95% Confidence Interval: 8.32–49.29] and Black people (Odds Ratio, 0.29 [95% Confidence Interval: 0.14, 0.60]) versus White people were associated with regimen change in the adjusted analysis.


Clinical and demographic characteristics influence choice and duration of initial oral hypoglycemic treatment as well as regimen changes. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.