Positive change in the utilization of antihypertensive and lipid-lowering drugs among adult diabetics in Finland. Results from large national database between 2000 and 2006

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ObjectivesTo assess changes in the utilization of antihypertensive and lipid-lowering drugs among all adult Finnish diabetics between 2000 and 2006, and to evaluate the treatment and control of hypertension and dyslipidemia in a population-based sample of diabetic patients.MethodsFrom the databases of the Social Insurance Institution of Finland, 143 366 diabetic patients aged 30 years or over in 2000–2001 and 187 099 in 2006–2007, respectively, were identified, and changes in the prevalence of antihypertensive and lipid-lowering drugs were determined. In addition, from the Health 2000 Survey representing the whole Finnish population aged 30 years or over, 388 diabetic patients were identified, to assess their characteristics and control of hypertension and dyslipidemia.ResultsBetween the fall of 2000 and spring of 2001, 83% of the diabetics were classified as hypertensives. Sixty-nine percent of them used antihypertensive medication. From 2000 to 2006, utilization of lipid-lowering drugs increased by 111%, and combination antihypertensive medication, by 31%, for patients with diabetes. Among those using antihypertensive drugs, the use of angiotensin receptor blockers increased by 196%, and the use of either an angiotensin receptor blocker or an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor, by 31%, respectively. Of the treated hypertensive diabetic patients in 2000–2001, only 14% had the blood pressure below 130/80 mmHg, and only 17% of the diabetics using lipid-lowering drugs had the serum low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol value less than 2.5 mmol/l.ConclusionOur findings indicate that the control of hypertension and dyslipidemia among adult diabetics in the beginning of the decade was poor. On the contrary, utilization of antihypertensive agents (especially angiotensin receptor blockers) and lipid-lowering drugs has increased remarkably by the end of 2006. Still, the treatments are far from optimal.

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