Is albuminuria screening and treatment optimal in patients with type 2 diabetes in primary care? Observational data of the GIANTT cohort

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Failure of diagnosing and treatment of albuminuria play a role in morbidity and mortality in type 2 diabetes (T2DM). We evaluated guideline adherence and factors associated with albuminuria screening and treatment in T2DM patients in primary care.


Guidelines recommend annual measurement of albuminuria and, if increased, treatment with renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system (RAAS) blockers. We performed a cohort study of T2DM patients managed by 182 Dutch general practitioners (GPs; Groningen Initiative to Analyse Type 2 diabetes Treatment database), and evaluated guideline adherence in the years 2007–2009. We assessed whether demographic, clinical, organizational or provider factors determined guideline adherence with multilevel analyses.


Data were available for 14 120 T2DM patients [47.6% male, mean age 67.3 ± 11.7 years, median diabetes duration 6 (IQR: 3–10) years]. The albumin–creatinine ratio (ACR) was measured in 45.2% in 2007, 57.4% in 2008 and 56.8% in 2009. Only 23.7% of all patients were measured every year and 21.4% were never measured. The ACR was more often measured in patients <75 years, with a previous ACR measurement, using anti-diabetic medication, and receiving additional care by a diabetes support facility. RAAS treatment was prescribed to 78.4% of patients with prevalent micro/macroalbuminuria, 66.5% with incident micro/macroalbuminuria, 59.3% with normoalbuminuria and 52.1% of those without ACR measurements. In those not treated with RAAS blockers, it was initiated in 14.3, 12.3, 3.0 and 2.3%, respectively. The presence of micro/macroalbuminuria, higher blood pressure, incidence of cardiovascular events and treatment with antihypertensive medication were the determinants of RAAS-treatment initiation.


Guideline implementation regarding the management of albuminuria in T2DM patients in primary care should be further improved.

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