Background: Sex differences in clinical outcomes have been observed for patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). These could be related to sex disparities in treatment.
Objectives: To determine whether there are sex disparities in medication prescribing amongst patients with T2DM.
Methods: A cohort study was conducted using the Groningen Initiative to ANalyze Type 2 diabetes Treatment (GIANTT) database, which includes data from primary care patients with T2DM from the north of the Netherlands. Data on demographics, physical examinations, laboratory measurements and prescribing were extracted. A set of validated prescribing quality indicators assessing the prevalence, start, intensification and safety of glucose-, lipid-, blood pressure- and albuminuria-lowering medication was applied for the calendar year 2019. Univariate logistic regression analyses were conducted.
Results: We included 10,456 patients (47% females). Females were less often treated with metformin (81.7% vs. 86.5%; OR 0.70, 95% CI 0.61–0.80), and were less often prescribed a renin-angiotensin-aldosterone inhibitor (RAAS-i) when treated with multiple blood pressure-lowering medicines (81.9% vs. 89.3%; OR 0.55, 95% CI 0.46–0.64) or when having albuminuria (74.7% vs. 82.1%; OR 0.64, 95% CI 0.49–0.85) than males. Statin treatment was less frequently started (19.7% vs. 24.7%; OR 0.75, 95% CI 0.58–0.96) and prescribed (58.7% vs. 63.9%; OR 0.80, 95% CI 0.73–0.89) in females. There were no differences in starting and intensifying glucose-, blood pressure- and albuminuria-lowering medication.
Conclusions: Sex disparities in medication prescribing amongst T2DM patients were seen, including less starting with statins and potential undertreatment with RAAS-i in females. Such disparities may partly explain higher excess risks for cardiovascular and renal complications associated with diabetes observed in females.
- medication treatment
- prescribing quality indicators
- quality of care
- sex disparities
- type 2 diabetes mellitus