Experimental and Clinical Endocrinology & Diabetes vol:117 issue:8 pages:367-372
OBJECTIVE: To picture the profile of type 2 diabetic patients in Belgium and to study the quality of care in the primary care setting, with regard, to multi-factorial approach of the disease. METHODS: Observational study of all known DM2-patients registered by 120 volunteer general practitioners. Quality of care was evaluated by the achievement of three major treatment targets: HbA1c<7%; Systolic Blood Pressure </=130 mmHg; LDL-Cholesterol<100 mg/dl (ADA 2003). Multivariate analysis was performed. RESULTS: 2495 DM2-patients were included with a mean age of 68+/-12 years and 51% being women. One fifth of the patients had microvascular complications and 27% had macrovascular complications. Sixty-eight percent received oral anti-diabetic drugs and 19% were on insulin. Satisfactory glycaemic control (HbA1c<7%) was achieved in 54% of the patients, with however glucose control deteriorating with disease progression despite more intensive hypoglycaemic treatment. Systolic blood pressure targets were reached in 50%. Statin use was present in 39% and LDL levels<100 mg/dl were reached in 42%. 59% of insulin treated patients were followed up in shared care with specialised diabetes centres. These patients obtained lower values for HbA1c (7.5+/-1.2% vs. 7.8+/-1.5%, p=0.038) and LDL-C (90+/-34 vs. 111+/-37, p<0.001) compared to insulin-treated patients only followed up in primary care. CONCLUSION: Overall metabolic control in type 2 diabetic patients in primary care in Belgium was acceptable for glucose control, but major room for improvement exists especially for statin use and blood pressure control. Clinical inertia is present and the presence of more structured care in specialised diabetes centres, focusing on therapeutic guidelines, may explain the better overall metabolic control in patients followed up in shared care with these centres.