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Diabetes Obes Metab. 2018 Apr;20(4):1040-1043. doi: 10.1111/dom.13160. Epub 2017 Dec 12.

Comparison of medication adherence and persistence in type 2 diabetes: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

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


Limited medication adherence and persistence with treatment are barriers to successful management of type 2 diabetes (T2D). We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library, the Register of Controlled Trials, PsychINFO and CINAHL for observational and interventional studies that compared the adherence or persistence associated with 2 or more glucose-lowering medications in people with T2D. Where 5 or more studies provided the same comparison, a random-effects meta-analysis was performed, reporting mean difference (MD) or odds ratio (OR) for adherence or persistence, depending on the pooled study outcomes. We included a total of 48 studies. Compared with metformin, adherence (%) was better for sulphonylureas (5 studies; MD 10.6%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 6.5-14.7) and thiazolidinediones (TZDs; 6 studies; MD 11.3%, 95% CI 2.7%-20.0%). Adherence to TZDs was marginally better than adherence to sulphonylureas (5 studies; MD 1.5%, 95% CI 0.1-2.9). Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors had better adherence than sulphonylureas and TZDs. Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists had higher rates of discontinuation than long-acting analogue insulins (6 studies; OR 1.95; 95% CI 1.17-3.27). Long-acting insulin analogues had better persistence than human insulins (5 studies; MD 43.1 days; 95% CI 22.0-64.2). The methods used to define adherence and persistence were highly variable.


GLP-1 analogue; antidiabetic drug; insulin analogues; medication adherence; medication persistence; meta-analysis; systematic review; type 2 diabetes


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