Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Capitalizing on prescribing pattern variation to compare medications for type 2 diabetes.

Prentice JC, Conlin PR, Gellad WF, Edelman D, Lee TA, Pizer SD. Capitalizing on prescribing pattern variation to compare medications for type 2 diabetes. Value in health : the journal of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research. 2014 Dec 1; 17(8):854-62.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


BACKGROUND: Clinical trials often compare hypoglycemic medications on the basis of glycemic control but do not examine long-term outcomes (e.g., mortality). This study demonstrates an alternative approach to lengthening clinical trials to assess these long-term outcomes. OBJECTIVE: To use observational quasi-experimental methods using instrumental variables (IVs) to compare the effect of two hypoglycemic medications, sulfonylureas (SUs) and thiazolidinediones (TZDs), on long-term outcomes. METHODS: This study used administrative data from the Veterans Health Administration and Medicare from 2000 to 2010. The study population included US veterans dually enrolled in Medicare who received a prescription for metformin and then initiated SUs or TZDs. Patients could either continue on or discontinue metformin after the initiation of the second agent. Treatment was defined as starting either a SU or a TZD. Local variations in SU prescribing rates were used as instruments in IV models to control for selection bias. Survival models predicted all-cause mortality, ambulatory care sensitive condition hospitalizations, and stroke or heart attack (acute myocardial infarction). RESULTS: Starting on SUs compared to TZDs significantly increased the likelihood of experiencing mortality and ACSC hospitalization. The estimated hazard ratio for the effect of starting on SUs compared to TZDs was 1.50 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.09-2.09) for all-cause mortality, 1.68 (95% CI 1.31-2.15) for ambulatory care sensitive condition hospitalization, and 1.15 (95% CI 0.80-1.66) for acute myocardial infarction or stroke. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest increased risk of major adverse events associated with SUs as a second-line agent. Quasi-experimental IV methods may be an important alternative to lengthening clinical trials to assess long-term outcomes.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.