Strategies Used by Adults With Diagnosed Diabetes to Reduce Their Prescription Drug Costs, 2017–2018

August 21, 2019

Questions for Robin Cohen, Ph.D. and Lead Author of ”Strategies Used by Adults with Diagnosed Diabetes to Reduce Their Prescription Drug Costs, 2017-2018.”

Q: What do you think is the most significant finding in your report?

RC: Among adults with diagnosed diabetes, more than 13 percent did not take their medication as prescribed to save money and almost 1 in 4 asked their doctor for a lower cost medication.


Q: Do you have other data that would put these diabetes findings in context with other diseases?

RC: We have not looked at strategies adults use to reduce their prescription for other diseases. However, two previously published reports examined strategies used by adults aged 18-64 (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db333.htm) and by adults aged 65 and over (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db335.htm) to reduce their prescription drug costs in 2016-2017.


Q: Do you have any data on this topic for earlier years?

RC: We do not have reports addressing strategies used by adults with diagnosed diabetes for earlier years. However, two previous reports examined strategies used by adults to reduce their prescription drug costs in 2011 and 2013.


Q: Which age group or demographic group seems to be having the biggest problem with the cost of diabetes medication or with taking their medication?

RC: Among U.S. adults with diagnosed diabetes who were prescribed medication in the past 12 months, the percentages of adults who did not take their medication as prescribed to reduce their prescription drug costs were highest among women and adults under age 65.  Among adults aged 18-64, those who were uninsured (35.7%) were more than twice as likely than those with either private (14.0%) or Medicaid (17.8%) coverage to not take their medication as prescribed to save money.


Q: Any other significant points you’d like to make about your report?

RC: Among adults aged 18-64, those who were uninsured (35.7%) were more than twice as likely than those with either private (14.0%) or Medicaid (17.8%) coverage to not take their medication as prescribed to save money.


Eye Disorders and Vision Loss among U.S. Adults Aged 45 and Over with Diagnosed Diabetes

July 18, 2019

Questions for Lead Author Amy Cha, Statistician, of “Eye Disorders and Vision Loss among U.S. Adults Aged 45 and Over with Diagnosed Diabetes.”

Q: Why did you decide to focus on eye disorder and vision loss for adults aged 45 or older with diagnosed diabetes for this report?

AC: The prevalence of diabetes increases with age. Eye disorders are a frequent complication from diabetes and vision loss is a severe condition that often has a negative impact on a person’s quality of life and mental health. Moreover, duration of diabetes is a risk factor for the progression of visual problems.

This report compared the age-adjusted percentages of older adults (aged 45 and over) with diagnosed diabetes who were told by a doctor or other health professional that they had cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, or macular degeneration and vision loss due to these disorders, by years since their diabetes diagnosis.


Q: Do you have data that directly corresponds with this report that goes back further than 2016?

AC: Data on diabetes, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and macular degeneration were collected in 2002 and 2008 by the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). However, this is the first report covering the prevalence of eye disorders and vision loss among older adults with diagnosed diabetes.


Q: Was there a specific finding in your report that surprised you?

AC: We were surprised that even after accounting for age, adults who have had diagnosed diabetes for 10 years or more were still more likely to have eye disorders than those having diagnosed diabetes for less than 10 years.


Q: Why is it that so many adults with diagnosed diabetes have cataracts?

AC: Diabetes can affect many parts of the body. This report did not examine the causal pathway of diabetes and cataracts.  This report focused on the prevalence of eye disorders by years since diabetes diagnosis in adults aged 45 and older.  We compared two time intervals, those who were diagnosed more recently – less than 10 years, and those who were  diagnosed with diabetes a longer time – 10 years or more. Cataracts and vision loss due to cataracts were both associated with longer duration since diabetes diagnosis.


Q: What is the take home message for this report?

AC: Adults who have had diagnosed diabetes for 10 years or more were more likely to report cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and macular degeneration than those with diagnosed diabetes for less than 10 years. In addition, adults who have had diagnosed diabetes for 10 years or more were more likely to report vision loss due to cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, and macular degeneration than those having diagnosed diabetes for less than 10 years.


2017 Final Deaths, Leading Causes of Death and Life Tables Reports Released

June 24, 2019

NCHS released a report that presents the final 2017 data on U.S. deaths, death rates, life expectancy, infant mortality, and trends, by selected characteristics such as age, sex, Hispanic origin and race, state of residence, and cause of death.

Key Findings:

  • In 2017, a total of 2,813,503 deaths were reported in the United States.
  • The age-adjusted death rate was 731.9 deaths per 100,000 U.S. standard population, an increase of 0.4% from the 2016 rate.
  • Life expectancy at birth was 78.6 years, a decrease of 0.1 year from the 2016 rate.
  • Life expectancy decreased from 2016 to 2017 for non-Hispanic white males (0.1 year) and non-Hispanic black males (0.1), and increased for non-Hispanic black females (0.1).
  • Age-specific death rates increased in 2017 from 2016 for age groups 25–34, 35–44, and 85 and over, and decreased for age groups under 1 and 45–54.
  • The 15 leading causes of death in 2017 remained the same as in 2016 although, two causes exchanged ranks.
  • Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis, the 12th leading cause of death in 2016, became the 11th leading cause of death in 2017, while Septicemia, the 11th leading cause of death in 2016, became the 12th leading cause of death in 2017.
  • The infant mortality rate, 5.79 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2017, did not change significantly from the rate of 5.87 in 2016.

NCHS also released the 2017 U.S. Life Tables and Leading Causes of Death Reports.


QuickStats: Death Rates from Diabetes Mellitus as Underlying or Contributing Cause Among Adults Aged 65 Years or Older, by Race/Ethnicity

June 21, 2019

During 2004–2017, the death rate from diabetes mellitus as underlying or contributing cause among adults aged 65 years or older decreased from 477.5 per 100,000 in 2004 to 418.1 in 2017.

Throughout this period, the death rate was highest among non-Hispanic black adults and lowest among non-Hispanic white adults.

During 2004–2017, the death rate decreased from 438.3 per 100,000 to 391.1 among non-Hispanic white adults, from 602.0 to 485.7 among Hispanic adults, and from 804.3 to 607.0 among non-Hispanic black adults.

Source: National Vital Statistics System, 2004–2017. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/deaths.htm.

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/68/wr/mm6824a6.htm


QuickStats: Age-Adjusted Percentage of Adults Aged 18 Years or Older Reporting Diabetic Retinopathy Among Those with Prediabetes or Diagnosed Diabetes by Age Group

May 31, 2019

During 2016–2017, adults aged 18–64 years with type 1 diabetes were more likely to have ever had diabetic retinopathy than adults with type 2 diabetes (23.8% compared with 5%).

Adults aged 65 years or older with type 1 diabetes were also more likely to have ever had diabetic retinopathy than adults with type 2 diabetes (24.6% compared with 8.7%).

For both age groups, among those with prediabetes, the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy was 0.6%.

Source: National Health Interview Survey, 2016–2017. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis.htm.


Early Release of Selected Estimates Based on Data From January-June 2018 National Health Interview Survey

December 6, 2018

Questions for Lead Author Tainya C. Clarke, Ph.D., M.P.H., Health Statistician, of “Early Release of Selected Estimates Based on Data From January-June 2018 National Health Interview Survey.”

Q: What are some of the findings that you would highlight in this early release report?

TC:  Diabetes and obesity continue to increase among U.S. adults.  The prevalence of diagnosed diabetes among adults aged 18 and over increased from 7.8% in 2006 to 10.2% in January–June 2018.  During the same period the prevalence of obesity among U.S. adults aged 20 and over increased from 26.4%  to 31.7%.


Q: What do the findings in this report tell us about the health of the country overall?

TC:  The health of our nation is multifaceted and quite complex. While we make improvements in some areas, such as increased leisure time physical activity and declining smoking rates, other areas leave a lot to be desired. The prevalence of diabetes and obesity continue to rise.


Q: Are there any trends in this report that Americans should be concerned about?

TC: Yes, the observed increase in the prevalence of diabetes and obesity, suggests that Americans need to work towards achieving a healthy balance between dietary intake and exercise.


Q: Why did you decide to only look back to 2006?  Previous NHIS Early Release reports went back to 1997?

TC: The Early Release Key Health Indicators report transitioned from static quarterly reports to a dynamic report back in June 2018. In the previous format, we included estimates back to 1997, but the trend results were getting unwieldy to produce and interpret on a quarterly basis.  Thus, we made the decision to start the trends at 2006 for the newer format.  Readers can still go back and view the static reports and combined with the dynamic report, they can construct the longer trend.


Q: What is the take home message for this report?

TC: Americans are making significant improvement is some aspects of health, but are falling short in others.


Fact or Fiction: Is Undiagnosed diabetes more prevalent among American adults than diabetes that has already been diagnosed by a physician?

September 19, 2018

Source: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2013-2016

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db319.pdf