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BMJ Open. 2016 Nov 24;6(11):e012801. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-012801.

Real-world evidence studies into treatment adherence, thresholds for intervention and disparities in treatment in people with type 2 diabetes in the UK.

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Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK.



The University of Surrey-Lilly Real World Evidence (RWE) diabetes cohort has been established to provide insights into the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). There are 3 areas of study due to be conducted to provide insights into T2DM management: exploration of medication adherence, thresholds for changing diabetes therapies, and ethnicity-related or socioeconomic-related disparities in management. This paper describes the identification of a cohort of people with T2DM which will be used for these analyses, through a case finding algorithm, and describes the characteristics of the identified cohort.


A cohort of people with T2DM was identified from the Royal College of General Practitioners Research and Surveillance Centre (RCGP RSC) data set. This data set comprises electronic patient records collected from a nationally distributed sample of 130 primary care practices across England with scope to increase the number of practices to 200.


A cohort (N=58 717) of adults with T2DM was identified from the RCGP RSC population (N=1 260 761), a crude prevalence of diabetes of 5.8% in the adult population. High data quality within the practice network and an ontological approach to classification resulted in a high level of data completeness in the T2DM cohort; ethnicity identification (82.1%), smoking status (99.3%), alcohol use (93.3%), glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c; 97.9%), body mass index (98.0%), blood pressure (99.4%), cholesterol (87.4%) and renal function (97.8%). Data completeness compares favourably to other, similarly large, observational cohorts. The cohort comprises a distribution of ages, socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds, diabetes complications, and comorbidities, enabling the planned analyses.


Regular data uploads from the RCGP RSC practice network will enable this cohort to be followed prospectively. We will investigate medication adherence, explore thresholds and triggers for changing diabetes therapies, and investigate any ethnicity-related or socioeconomic-related disparities in diabetes management.



[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Conflict of interest statement

The RCGP RSC is primarily funded by Public Health England and the development of the RCGP RSC data set is supported by surveillance work funded by Public Health England. The subcohort of people with T2DM identified from the RCGP RSC has been developed for a number of planned studies funded, as part of the University of Surrey-Lilly Real World Evidence (RWE) projects, by Eli Lilly and Company. AM, WH, MW and SdL are funded by Eli-Lilly and Company. SdL and AC have undertaken research funded by GlaxoSmithKline. NM has received fees for serving as a speaker, a consultant or an advisory board member for Allergan, Bristol-Myers Squibb-Astra-Zeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly, Lifescan, MSD, Metronic, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, Sankio, Sanofi, Roche, Servier, Takeda. MW has received speaker fees from Astra-Zeneca.

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