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Open Access Original investigation

Prevalence of antiplatelet therapy in patients with diabetes

Shaun R Miller, Benjamin Littenberg and Charles D MacLean*

Author Affiliations

University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, Vermont, USA

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Cardiovascular Diabetology 2005, 4:18  doi:10.1186/1475-2840-4-18

Published: 1 December 2005

Abstract

Objective

To determine the prevalence of, and patient characteristics associated with, antiplatelet therapy in a cohort of primary care patients with Type 1 or Type2 diabetes.

Methods

Subjects participating in a randomized trial of a decision support system were interviewed at home and medication usage verified by a research assistant. Eligibility for antiplatelet therapy was determined by American Diabetes Association criteria and clinical contraindications. The association between antiplatelet use and patient characteristics was examined using bivariate and multivariate logistic regression.

Results

The mean age of subjects was 64 years (range 31–93). The prevalence of antiplatelet use was 54% overall; 45% for subjects without known CVD vs. 78% for those with CVD; 46% for women vs. 63% for men; and 45% for younger subjects (age< 65) vs. 62% for senior citizens. After controlling for race/ethnicity, income, education, marital status, insurance status and prescription coverage, the following were associated with the use of antiplatelet therapy: presence of known CVD (OR 3.4 [2.2, 5.1]), male sex (OR 2.0 [1.4, 2.8]), and age > = 65 (OR 1.9 [1.3, 2.7]). The prevalence of antiplatelet therapy for younger women without CVD was 32.8% compared to a prevalence of 90.3% for older men with CVD.

Conclusion

Despite clinical practice guidelines recommending antiplatelet therapy for patients with diabetes, there are still many eligible patients not receiving this beneficial therapy, particularly patients under 65, women, and patients without known CVD. Effective methods to increase antiplatelet use should be considered at the national, community, practice and provider level.