Evaluating medication adherence and its impact on glycemic control in elderly diabetic patients: a cross-sectional analysis

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Shaker Masaeed Masad
Abdulaziz Mubarak Alshahrani
Azizah Mahmoud Alshubayni
Abdullah Mohammed Aldosar
Masad Masaeed Masad
Sayed Ibrahim Ali


Medication nonadherence is a critical obstacle to optimum diabetes management. This study aimed to evaluate adherence and its impact on glycemic control in elderly (≥60 years) type 2 diabetics in Saudi Arabia. In this cross-sectional analysis, 65 outpatients completed the 8-item Morisky Medication Adherence Scale (MMAS-8) and had HbA1c values extracted from records. 44.6% exhibited low adherence per MMAS-8. Forgetfulness was a major barrier (70.8%). Mean HbA1c was suboptimal at 8.1%; only 26.2% achieved HbA1c<7%. Lower MMAS-8 scores strongly correlated with higher HbA1c. Patients aged over 80 years showed worse adherence (mean score 6.5) compared to 60-69 years (mean score 7.3). Longer diabetes duration (>10 years) and more comorbidities (≥4) were also associated with poorer adherence. This study demonstrates high prevalence of medication nonadherence among elderly Saudi diabetics significantly linked to inadequate glycemic control. Routine adherence screening and targeted interventions for individuals with identified barriers are imperative to optimize outcomes. Healthcare policies must prioritize resources and models supporting geriatric diabetes management.

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