Psychosocial factors in adherence to pharmacological treatment and diabetes mellitus control in patients over 65

Factores psicosociales en la adherencia al tratamiento farmacológico y el control de la diabetes mellitus en pacientes mayores de 65 años


To explore the influence of anxiety/depression symptoms and social risk in patients older than 65 years with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) both in non-adherence to pharmacological treatment (Non-AdhT) and in poor control of T2DM.


Cross-sectional study.

Setting and participants

Adults over 65 years of age with T2DM treated at the Madrid Primary Care Service.

Main measurements

Data collection: Electronic Health Record database. Variables: Poor control of T2DM (HBA1c) and Non-AdhT (Morisky-Green test); main clinical variables: symptoms of depression/anxiety and social risk. Global multivariate logistic regression models and disaggregated by sex were used to Non-AdhT and poor T2DM control.


Data were obtained on 884 subjects. Non-AdhT prevalence: 4.4%; prevalence of poor T2DM control: 37.2%. Multivariate logistic regression models for No-AdhT in men showed a higher risk if they had symptoms of anxiety/depression (OR: 3.88; 95%CI: 1.15–13.07); and in women, if they had social risk (OR: 5.61; 95%CI: 1.86–16.94). Multivariate logistic regression models for poor control of T2DM in men revealed a higher risk if they did not have AdhT (OR: 3.53; 95%CI: 1.04–12.02).


In people over 65 years with T2DM, although Non-AdhT is low, the prevalence of poor T2DM control is high. Symptoms of depression or anxiety are a risk factor to Non-AdhT in men, while social risk has the same effect in women. Non-AdhT in men increases the risk of poor T2DM control. From a gender perspective, it is important to detect social and mental health problems in older adults with diabetes and to reinforce strategies to improve their adherence to drug treatment in these patients.

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