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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 244-249

Driving distance and glycemic control in patients with insulin-treated diabetes mellitus: Results from the diabetes and driving study

Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine; King Saud University Medical City, King Saud University; Vision College of Medicine, Vision Colleges in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Turky H Almigbal
Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh; King Saud University Medical City, King Saud University, Riyadh; Vision College of Medicine, Vision Colleges in Riyadh
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jnsm.jnsm_147_20

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Context: Driving distance to health-care facilities has been associated with suboptimal glycemic control in patients with diabetes. The data pertaining to the driving burden on patients with diabetes in Saudi Arabia is lacking. Aims: This study aims to assess the driving distance to healthcare facilities and the glycemic control of patients with insulin-treated diabetes mellitus (ITDM) in Saudi Arabia. Setting and Design: This study is part of the diabetes and driving study–a cross-sectional project conducted on individuals with ITDM in Saudi Arabia. Materials and Methods: Data collection was performed from August 2016 to February 2017 from the designated clinics every alternate day, for 4-h intervals. We included men aged more than 18 years, with at least 1 year of follow-up with the clinic, and using a car as the main mode of transportation. Results: A total of 429 individuals were included in the study, they were mostly from Riyadh (95.3%, n = 409) with an average age of 49.54 ± 15.20 years. The distance driven was on average 32.09 ± 115.23 km. The average duration of diabetes was 14.36 ± 8.44 years. Most (80.4%; n = 345) had uncontrolled diabetes and were almost equally distributed between those driving <10 km (55.48% n = 238) and more. We found statistically significant associations between driving for more than 10 km to access healthcare (odds ratio [OR] = 1.47; confidence interval [CI] 1.127–1.92); P = 0.004) and lower age (OR = 0.97; CI = 0.949, 1.00; P = 0.029) with uncontrolled diabetes. Conclusion: Patients with ITDM in Saudi Arabia have a driving burden if the healthcare facilities located far, which also might be associated with poor glycemic control. A thorough study of healthcare facilities and location of diabetes centers needs to be implemented on a national level.

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