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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Lack of insurance coverage for testing supplies is associated with poorer glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes.

BACKGROUND: Public insurance for testing supplies for self-monitoring of blood glucose is highly variable across Canada. We sought to determine if insured patients were more likely than uninsured patients to use self-monitoring and whether they had better glycemic control. METHODS: We used baseline survey and laboratory data from patients enrolled in a randomized controlled trial examining the effect of paying for testing supplies on glycemic control. We recruited patients through community pharmacies in Alberta and Saskatchewan from Nov. 2001 to June 2003. To avoid concerns regarding differences in provincial coverage of self-monitoring and medications, we report the analysis of Alberta patients only. RESULTS: Among our sample of 405 patients, 41% had private or public insurance coverage for self-monitoring testing supplies. Patients with insurance had significantly lower hemoglobin A(1c) concentrations than those without insurance coverage (7.1% v. 7.4%, p = 0.03). Patients with insurance were younger, had a higher income, were less likely to have a high school education and were less likely to be married or living with a partner. In multivariate analyses that controlled for these and other potential confounders, lack of insurance coverage for self-monitoring testing supplies was still significantly associated with higher hemoglobin A(1c) concentrations (adjusted difference 0.5%, p = 0.006). INTERPRETATION: Patients without insurance for self-monitoring test strips had poorer glycemic control.[1]


  1. Lack of insurance coverage for testing supplies is associated with poorer glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes. Bowker, S.L., Mitchell, C.G., Majumdar, S.R., Toth, E.L., Johnson, J.A. CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association journal = journal de l'Association medicale canadienne. (2004) [Pubmed]
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