A Study on Adherence to Medicines and Lifestyle of Diabetic Patients Attending a Tertiary Care Hospital in Kolkata Post-coronavirus Disease Lockdown

Sanjib Bandyopadhyay, Baisakhi Maji, Kaushik Mitra



 Introduction: In the era of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, people suffering from non-communicable diseases have to face greater challenges. Chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and HIV/AIDS are posing a higher risk for contracting COVID-19, making the people more vulnerable to COVID-19 with difficulties in management. For patients with diabetes, strict adherence to medications is a must for good glycemic control and it prevents various complications, both microvascular and macrovascular including diabetic ulcers, neuropathy, and nephropathy. The present study aimed to explore the influence of COVID-19 lockdowns on drug and lifestyle adherence of diabetic patients attending a tertiary care hospital in Kolkata, which is also dedicated to COVID-19 care and management. Materials and Methods: It was an observational, cross-sectional hospital-based study. The study was conducted in a tertiary care hospital in Kolkata among patients who attended diabetic clinic between June 2020 and August 2020 just after nationwide lockdown was unlocked. Complete enumeration of the patients aged 18 years and above, suffering from Type 2 diabetes who attended diabetic clinic for the 1st time between June 2020 and August 2020, was the study subjects. The study subjects were interviewed using a pre-designed, pre-tested semi-structured schedule comprising three parts. Demographics of the study population along with basic clinical characteristics were included in the first part. The second and third parts comprised six questions on patients’ medication compliance and daily habits before and after the lockdown. Results: Out of 510 study subjects, nearly half (50.2%) of them were in the age group of 45–59 years. Female participants were slightly higher (53.7%) in proportion. While majority (85%) of the patients was prescribed 2–4 oral medications for glycemic control, only 12.7% of the patients were prescribed insulin injections. About 85.6% of the patients used to take their medications regularly and on time before the lockdown, while 40.2% timely monitored their blood glucose levels most of the time. About 46.3% and 58.7% of the patients had not experienced any symptoms of hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia, respectively, before the lockdown, while 71% of the patients used to take their medications regularly and on time after the lockdown, while less than one-third of the patients (31.7%) timely monitored their blood glucose levels most of the time. Conclusion: This study showed a remarkable drop in relation to medicine and lifestyle compliance after the lockdown.

Key words: Adherence, coronavirus disease, diabetes mellitus, lifestyle lockdown

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