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Primary language, income and the intensification of anti-glycemic medications in managed care: the (TRIAD) study.

  • Author(s): Duru, O Kenrik
  • Bilik, Dori
  • McEwen, Laura N
  • Brown, Arleen F
  • Karter, Andrew J
  • Curb, J David
  • Marrero, David G
  • Lu, Shou-En
  • Rodriguez, Michael
  • Mangione, Carol M
  • et al.
Abstract

Patients who speak Spanish and/or have low socioeconomic status are at greater risk of suboptimal glycemic control. Inadequate intensification of anti-glycemic medications may partially explain this disparity.To examine the associations between primary language, income, and medication intensification.Cohort study with 18-month follow-up.One thousand nine hundred and thirty-nine patients with Type 2 diabetes who were not using insulin enrolled in the Translating Research into Action for Diabetes Study (TRIAD), a study of diabetes care in managed care.Using administrative pharmacy data, we compared the odds of medication intensification for patients with baseline A1c ≥ 8%, by primary language and annual income. Covariates included age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, Charlson score, diabetes duration, baseline A1c, type of diabetes treatment, and health plan.Overall, 42.4% of patients were taking intensified regimens at the time of follow-up. We found no difference in the odds of intensification for English speakers versus Spanish speakers. However, compared to patients with incomes <$15,000, patients with incomes of $15,000-$39,999 (OR 1.43, 1.07-1.92), $40,000-$74,999 (OR 1.62, 1.16-2.26) or >$75,000 (OR 2.22, 1.53-3.24) had increased odds of intensification. This latter pattern did not differ statistically by race.Low-income patients were less likely to receive medication intensification compared to higher-income patients, but primary language (Spanish vs. English) was not associated with differences in intensification in a managed care setting. Future studies are needed to explain the reduced rate of intensification among low income patients in managed care.

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