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author:("Lee, Ping yin")
1.  Statins use is associated with poorer glycaemic control in a cohort of hypertensive patients with diabetes and without diabetes 
Background
The US Federal and Drug Administration (FDA) recently revised statin drug labels to include the information that increases in fasting serum glucose and glycated haemoglobin levels have been reported with the use of statins. Yet in a survey, 87% of the doctors stated that they had never or infrequently observed increases in glucose or HbA1c levels in patients on statin. In this study we would like to determine the association between the use of statins and glycaemic control in a retrospective cohort of patients with hypertension.
Methods
A retrospective review of 1060 medical records of patients with hypertension at a primary care clinic was conducted. These records were selected using systematic random sampling (1:4). Data on patient socio-demographic factors; clinical profile; investigation results and prescribed medications were collected. Independent t-test was used for continuous variables while Pearson’s χ2 test was used for categorical variables. Logistic regression was done to adjust for confounders.
Results
810 (76.4%) patients with hypertension were on statins, out of which 792 (97.8%) were taking simvastatin 10 mg or 20 mg daily. Analysis of the whole group regardless of diabetes status showed that the statin user group had higher HbA1c and fasting blood glucose values. The difference in HbA1c levels remained significant (adjusted OR = 1.290, p = 0.044, 95% CI 1.006, 1.654) after adjustment for diabetes, diabetic medication and fasting blood glucose. In the study population who had diabetes, statin users again had significantly higher HbA1c level compared to statin non-users. This difference remained significant (adjusted OR 1.208, p = 0.037, 95% CI 1.012, 1.441) after adjustment for age and diabetic medications.
Conclusions
Statins use is associated with increased HbA1c levels among hypertensive patients and hypertensive patients with diabetes. Clinicians managing hypertensive patients on statins should consider monitoring the HbA1c level and ensure that those with diabetes have their hyperglycaemia kept under control.
doi:10.1186/1758-5996-6-53
PMCID: PMC4003286  PMID: 24782916
Hypertension; Diabetes mellitus; Statin; HbA1c
2.  Poor glycemic control in younger women attending Malaysian public primary care clinics: findings from adults diabetes control and management registry 
BMC Family Practice  2013;14:188.
Background
Women of reproductive age are a group of particular concern as diabetes may affect their pregnancy outcome as well as long-term morbidity and mortality. This study aimed to compare the clinical profiles and glycemic control of reproductive and non-reproductive age women with type 2 diabetes (T2D) in primary care settings, and to determine the associated factors of poor glycemic control in the reproductive age group women.
Methods
This was a cross-sectional study using cases reported by public primary care clinics to the Adult Diabetes Control and Management registry from 1st January to 31st December 2009. All Malaysian women aged 18 years old and above and diagnosed with T2D for at least 1 year were included in the analysis. The target for glycemic control (HbA1c < 6.5%) is in accordance to the recommended national guidelines. Both univariate and multivariate approaches of logistic regression were applied to determine whether reproductive age women have an association with poor glycemic control.
Results
Data from a total of 30,427 women were analyzed and 21.8% (6,622) were of reproductive age. There were 12.5% of reproductive age women and 18.0% of non-reproductive age women that achieved glycemic control. Reproductive age group women were associated with poorer glycemic control (OR = 1.5, 95% CI = 1.2-1.8). The risk factors associated with poor glycemic control in the reproductive age women were being of Malay and Indian race, longer duration of diabetes, patients on anti-diabetic agents, and those who had not achieved the target total cholesterol and triglycerides.
Conclusion
Women with T2D have poor glycemic control, but being of reproductive age was associated with even poorer control. Health care providers need to pay more attention to this group of patients especially for those with risk factors. More aggressive therapeutic strategies to improve their cardiometabolic control and pregnancy outcome are warranted.
doi:10.1186/1471-2296-14-188
PMCID: PMC4029379  PMID: 24325794
Type 2 diabetes mellitus; Reproductive age women; Glycemic control; Registry
3.  An overview of patient involvement in healthcare decision-making: a situational analysis of the Malaysian context 
Background
Involving patients in decision-making is an important part of patient-centred care. Research has found a discrepancy between patients’ desire to be involved and their actual involvement in healthcare decision-making. In Asia, there is a dearth of research in decision-making. Using Malaysia as an exemplar, this study aims to review the current research evidence, practices, policies, and laws with respect to patient engagement in shared decision-making (SDM) in Asia.
Methods
In this study, we conducted a comprehensive literature review to collect information on healthcare decision-making in Malaysia. We also consulted medical education researchers, key opinion leaders, governmental organisations, and patient support groups to assess the extent to which patient involvement was incorporated into the medical curriculum, healthcare policies, and legislation.
Results
There are very few studies on patient involvement in decision-making in Malaysia. Existing studies showed that doctors were aware of informed consent, but few practised SDM. There was limited teaching of SDM in undergraduate and postgraduate curricula and a lack of accurate and accessible health information for patients. In addition, peer support groups and 'expert patient’ programmes were also lacking. Professional medical bodies endorsed patient involvement in decision-making, but there was no definitive implementation plan.
Conclusion
In summary, there appears to be little training or research on SDM in Malaysia. More research needs to be done in this area, including baseline information on the preferred and actual decision-making roles. The authors have provided a set of recommendations on how SDM can be effectively implemented in Malaysia.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-13-408
PMCID: PMC3852442  PMID: 24119237
4.  Health innovations in patient decision support: Bridging the gaps and challenges 
Patient decision aids (PDAs) help to support patients in making an informed and value-based decision. Despite advancement in decision support technologies over the past 30 years, most PDAs are still inaccessible and few address individual needs. Health innovation may provide a solution to bridge these gaps. Information and computer technology provide a platform to incorporate individual profiles and needs into PDAs, making the decision support more personalised. Health innovation may enhance accessibility by using mobile, tablet and Internet technologies; make risk communication more interactive; and identify patient values more effectively. In addition, using databases to capture patient data and the usage of PDAs can help: developers to improve PDAs’ design; clinicians to facilitate the decisionmaking process more effectively; and policy makers to make shared decision making more feasible and cost-effective. Health innovation may hold the key to advancing PDAs by creating a more personalised and effective decision support tool for patients making healthcare decisions.
doi:10.4066/AMJ.2013.1655
PMCID: PMC3593527  PMID: 23483776
Patient decision aids; shared decision making; health innovation
5.  What are the barriers faced by patients using insulin? A qualitative study of Malaysian health care professionals’ views 
Background
Patients with type 2 diabetes often require insulin as the disease progresses. However, health care professionals frequently encounter challenges when managing patients who require insulin therapy. Understanding how health care professionals perceive the barriers faced by patients on insulin will facilitate care and treatment strategies.
Objective
This study explores the views of Malaysian health care professionals on the barriers faced by patients using insulin.
Methods
Semi-structured qualitative interviews and focus group discussions were conducted with health care professionals involved in diabetes care using insulin. Forty-one health care professionals participated in the study, consisting of primary care doctors (n = 20), family medicine specialists (n = 10), government policymakers (n = 5), diabetes educators (n = 3), endocrinologists (n = 2), and one pharmacist. We used a topic guide to facilitate the interviews, which were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using a thematic approach.
Results
Five themes were identified as barriers: side effects, patient education, negative perceptions, blood glucose monitoring, and patient adherence to treatment and follow-up. Patients perceive that insulin therapy causes numerous negative side effects. There is a lack of patient education on proper glucose monitoring and how to optimize insulin therapy. Cost of treatment and patient ignorance are highlighted when discussing patient self-monitoring of blood glucose. Finally, health care professionals identified a lack of a follow-up system, especially for patients who do not keep to regular appointments.
Conclusion
This study identifies five substantial barriers to optimizing insulin therapy. Health care professionals who successfully identify and address these issues will empower patients to achieve effective self-management. System barriers require government agency in establishing insulin follow-up programs, multidisciplinary diabetes care teams, and subsidies for glucometers and test strips.
doi:10.2147/PPA.S36791
PMCID: PMC3559078  PMID: 23378747
primary care; focus groups; noncommunicable disease; diabetes; insulin; qualitative study
6.  A qualitative study on healthcare professionals’ perceived barriers to insulin initiation in a multi-ethnic population 
BMC Family Practice  2012;13:28.
Background
Nationwide surveys have shown that the prevalence of diabetes rates in Malaysia have almost doubled in the past ten years; yet diabetes control remains poor and insulin therapy is underutilized. This study aimed to explore healthcare professionals’ views on barriers to starting insulin therapy in people with type 2 diabetes.
Methods
Healthcare professionals consisting of general practitioners (n = 11), family medicine specialists (n = 10), medical officers (n = 8), government policy makers (n = 4), diabetes educators (n = 3) and endocrinologists (n = 2) were interviewed. A semi-structured topic guide was used to guide the interviews by trained facilitators. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using a thematic analysis approach.
Results
Insulin initiation was found to be affected by patient, healthcare professional and system factors. Patients’ barriers include culture-specific barriers such as the religious purity of insulin, preferred use of complementary medication and perceived lethality of insulin therapy. Healthcare professionals’ barriers include negative attitudes towards insulin therapy and the ‘legacy effect’ of old insulin guidelines; whilst system barriers highlight the lack of resources, language and communication challenges.
Conclusions
Tackling the issue of insulin initiation should not only happen during clinical consultations. It requires health education to emphasise the progressive nature of diabetes and the eventuality of insulin therapy at early stage of the illness. Healthcare professionals should be trained how to initiate insulin and communicate effectively with patients from various cultural and religious backgrounds.
doi:10.1186/1471-2296-13-28
PMCID: PMC3389339  PMID: 22469132
7.  Determinants of uncontrolled hypertension in adult type 2 diabetes mellitus: an analysis of the Malaysian diabetes registry 2009 
Background
Uncontrolled blood pressure (BP) is a significant contributor of morbidity and even mortality in type 2 diabetes (T2D) patients. This study was done to determine the significant determinants of uncontrolled blood pressure in T2D patients in Malaysia.
Methods
Between 1st January 2009 to 31st December 2009, data from 70 889 patients with Type 2 diabetes was obtained from the Adult Diabetes Control and Management Registry for analysis; 303 centers participated in the study. Their demographic characteristics, the nature of their diabetes, their state of hypertension, treatment modalities, risk factors, and complications are described. Based on their most recent BP values, subjects were divided into controlled BP and uncontrolled BP and their clinical determinants compared. Independent determinants were identified using multivariate logistic regression.
Results
The mean age of patients at diagnosis of diabetes was 52.3 ± 11.1 years old. Most were women (59.0 %) and of Malay ethnicity (61.9 %). The mean duration of diabetes was 5.9 ± 5.6 years. A total of 57.4 % were hypertensive. Of the 56 503 blood pressure (BP) measured, 13 280 (23.5 %) patients had BP <130/80 mmHg. Eighteen percent was on > two anti-hypertensive agents. Health clinics without doctor, older age (≥ 50 years old), shorter duration of diabetes (< 5 years), Malay, overweight were determinants for uncontrolled blood pressure (BP ≥130/80 mmHg). Patients who were on anti-hypertensive agent/s were 2.7 times more likely to have BP ≥130/80 mmHg. Type 2 diabetes patients who had ischaemic heart disease or nephropathy were about 20 % and 15 % more likely to have their blood pressure treated to target respectively.
Conclusions
Major independent determinants of uncontrolled BP in our group of T2D patients were Malay ethnicity, older age, recent diagnosis of diabetes, overweight and follow-up at health clinics without a doctor and possibly the improper use of anti hypertensive agent. More effort, education and resources, especially in the primary health care centres are needed to improve hypertensive care among our patients with diabetes.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-11-54
PMCID: PMC3434063  PMID: 22607105
Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus; Hypertension; Antihypertensive agents; Primary care
8.  How can insulin initiation delivery in a dual-sector health system be optimised? A qualitative study on healthcare professionals’ views 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:313.
Background
The prevalence of type 2 diabetes is increasing at an alarming rate in developing countries. However, glycaemia control remains suboptimal and insulin use is low. One important barrier is the lack of an efficient and effective insulin initiation delivery approach. This study aimed to document the strategies used and proposed by healthcare professionals to improve insulin initiation in the Malaysian dual-sector (public–private) health system.
Methods
In depth interviews and focus group discussions were conducted in Klang Valley and Seremban, Malaysia in 2010–11. Healthcare professionals consisting of general practitioners (n = 11), medical officers (n = 8), diabetes educators (n = 3), government policy makers (n = 4), family medicine specialists (n = 10) and endocrinologists (n = 2) were interviewed. We used a topic guide to facilitate the interviews, which were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using a thematic approach.
Results
Three main themes emerged from the interviews. Firstly, there was a lack of collaboration between the private and public sectors in diabetes care. The general practitioners in the private sector proposed an integrated system for them to refer patients to the public health services for insulin initiation programmes. There could be shared care between the two sectors and this would reduce the disproportionately heavy workload at the public sector. Secondly, besides the support from the government health authority, the healthcare professionals wanted greater involvement of non-government organisations, media and pharmaceutical industry in facilitating insulin initiation in both the public and private sectors. The support included: training of healthcare professionals; developing and disseminating patient education materials; service provision by diabetes education teams; organising programmes for patients’ peer group sessions; increasing awareness and demystifying insulin via public campaigns; and subsidising glucose monitoring equipment. Finally, the healthcare professionals proposed the establishment of multidisciplinary teams as a strategy to increase the rate of insulin initiation. Having team members from different ethnic backgrounds would help to overcome language and cultural differences when communicating with patients.
Conclusion
The challenges faced by a dual-sector health system in delivering insulin initiation may be addressed by greater collaborations between the private and public sectors and governmental and non-government organisations, and among different healthcare professionals.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-313
PMCID: PMC3533841  PMID: 22545648
Insulin initiation; Dual-sector health system; Malaysia; Diabetes; Public sector; Private sector
9.  A Preliminary Study on the Prevalence of Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Selected Rural Communities in Samarahan and Kuching Division, Sarawak, Malaysia 
Background:
It is important to understand the prevalence of risk factors for cardiovascular disease, especially in a rural setting.
Methods:
A cross-sectional study was carried out in 238 rural households located in the Kuching and Samarahan divisions of Sarawak among individuals aged 16 years and above. Anthropometric measurements, blood levels of glucose and cholesterol, and blood pressure were collected.
Results:
Prevalence of blood pressure in the hypertensive range was 43.1%. The highest rates of blood pressure in the hypertensive range were found in individuals aged above 60 years (38.6%) and 50–59 years old (31.8%). Age was one factor found to be significantly associated with blood pressure in the hypertensive range (P < 0.001). Prevalence of obesity was 49.0%. The highest prevalence of obesity was found among those aged 40–49 years (41.9%) and 50–59 years (29.9%). Gender was significantly associated with obesity (P = 0.004). The prevalence of blood cholesterol at risk was 21.6%, and the highest rate was found in the 40–49 years age group (34.0%). Fifty percent of respondents were found to have hyperglycaemia, with the highest prevalence in the 50–59 years age group (37.5%). A significant association was found between obesity, blood pressure in the hypertensive range and blood glucose level. When compared with non-obese individuals, those who were obese were more likely to have blood pressure in the hypertensive range and hyperglycaemia.
Conclusion:
The risk of developing lifestyle-related diseases is no longer based on geographical or socio-economic factors.
PMCID: PMC3216216  PMID: 22135588
blood pressure; cardiovascular diseases; hypercholesterolaemia; hyperglycaemia; medical screening and epidemiology; risk factors; rural communities

Results 1-9 (9)