Indications for and utilization of ACE inhibitors in older individuals with diabetes. Findings from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999 to 2002

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Quantitative Health Sciences

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Age Factors; Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Albuminuria; Angiotensin II Type 1 Receptor Blockers; Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors; Cardiovascular Diseases; Diabetes Complications; Diabetes Mellitus; Drug Utilization; Female; Health Surveys; Humans; Hypertension; Male; Middle Aged; Nutrition Surveys; Risk Factors; United States


Biostatistics | Epidemiology | Health Services Research


BACKGROUND: Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE) and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB) improve cardiovascular outcomes in high-risk individuals with diabetes. Despite the marked benefit, it is unknown what percentage of patients with diabetes would benefit from and what percentage actually receive this preventive therapy.

OBJECTIVES: To examine the proportion of older diabetic patients with indications for ACE or ARB (ACE/ARB). To generate national estimates of ACE/ARB use.

DESIGN AND PARTICIPANTS: Survey of 742 individuals> or =55 years (representing 8.02 million U.S. adults) self-reporting diabetes in the 1999 to 2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

MEASUREMENTS: Prevalence of guideline indications (albuminuria, cardiovascular disease, hypertension) and other cardiac risk factors (hyperlipidemia, smoking) with potential benefit from ACE/ARB. Prevalence of ACE/ARB use overall and by clinical indication.

RESULTS: Ninety-two percent had guideline indications for ACE/ARB. Including additional cardiac risk factors, the entire (100%) U.S. noninstitutionalized older population with diabetes had indications for ACE/ARB. Overall, 43% of the population received ACE/ARB. Hypertension was associated with higher rates of ACE/ARB use, while albuminuria and cardiovascular disease were not. As the number of indications increased, rates of use increased, however, the maximum prevalence of use was only 53% in individuals with 4 or more indications for ACE/ARB.

CONCLUSIONS: ACE/ARB is indicated in virtually all older individuals with diabetes; yet, national rates of use are disturbingly low and key risk factors (albuminuria and cardiovascular disease) are being missed. To improve quality of diabetes care nationally, use of ACE/ARB therapy by ALL older diabetics may be a desirable addition to diabetes performance measurement sets.

DOI of Published Version



J Gen Intern Med. 2006 Apr;21(4):315-9. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of general internal medicine

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Link to Article in PubMed