Monitoring of Patients on Long-Term Glucocorticoid Therapy: A Population-Based Cohort Study

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Abstract

About 1% of the general population receives long-term systemic glucocorticoids. The monitoring provided to these patients is unknown., We conducted a population-based cohort study using The Health Improvement Network database. A total of 100,944 adult patients prescribed systemic glucocorticoids for >3 months between January 2000 and December 2012 were studied. The monitoring done before prescribing glucocorticoid therapy and during exposure to the drug was examined. This included measurement of body weight, blood pressure, lipids, glucose and potassium levels, referrals for dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA-scan) or to an ophthalmologist/optician, and vaccinations. We assessed factors associated with the odds of being monitored before and during exposure., Before glucocorticoid initiation, weight and blood pressure were monitored in < 20% and < 50% of patients, respectively. Glucose and lipid levels were monitored in less than one-third of the patients, while DEXA-scan and eye monitoring were offered to

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