Medication Adherence During Adjunct Therapy With Statins and ACE Inhibitors in Adolescents With Type 1 Diabetes


Suboptimal adherence to insulin treatment is a main issue in adolescents with type 1 diabetes. However, to date, there are no available data on adherence to adjunct noninsulin medications in this population. Our aim was to assess adherence to ACE inhibitors and statins and explore potential determinants in adolescents with type 1 diabetes.


There were 443 adolescents with type 1 diabetes recruited into the Adolescent Type 1 Diabetes Cardio-Renal Intervention Trial (AdDIT) and exposed to treatment with two oral drugs—an ACE inhibitor and a statin—as well as combinations of both or placebo for 2–4 years. Adherence was assessed every 3 months with the Medication Event Monitoring System (MEMS) and pill count.


Median adherence during the trial was 80.2% (interquartile range 63.6–91.8) based on MEMS and 85.7% (72.4–92.9) for pill count. Adherence based on MEMS and pill count dropped from 92.9% and 96.3%, respectively, at the first visit to 76.3% and 79.0% at the end of the trial. The percentage of study participants with adherence ≥75% declined from 84% to 53%. A good correlation was found between adherence based on MEMS and pill count (r = 0.82, P < 0.001). Factors associated with adherence were age, glycemic control, and country.


We report an overall good adherence to ACE inhibitors and statins during a clinical trial, although there was a clear decline in adherence over time. Older age and suboptimal glycemic control at baseline predicted lower adherence during the trial, and, predictably, reduced adherence was more prevalent in subjects who subsequently dropped out.

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