November 17, 2020

A cohort for type 2 diabetes studies

A study group of more than 600,000 patients with type 2 diabetes, identified from electronic medical records in the PCORnet national research network, could be valuable for assessing the safety of type 2 diabetes drugs.

by Leigh MacMillan

Electronic medical record data collected for clinical care may be valuable for studies of long-term outcomes in “real-world” populations. 

Katherine N. Bachmann, MD, MSCI, and colleagues examined the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network (PCORnet) as a resource for studies of patients with type 2 diabetes. PCORnet is a national, distributed research network of interconnected health care data systems. 

The investigators identified a retrospective cohort of 613,203 adult patients with type 2 diabetes and characterized prescription patterns, clinical characteristics and medical comorbidities. In the cohort, 42% had a single type 2 diabetes drug class prescription and 15% were prescribed multiple type 2 diabetes drug classes. 

The PCORnet population offers advantages over existing type 2 diabetes cohorts including greater gender, racial and geographic diversity. The report in Pharmacology Research & Perspectives supports further validation of the PCORnet cohort and suggests that it may be valuable for assessing the cardiovascular safety of type 2 diabetes drugs, a priority research area.

This research was supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, PhRMA Foundation, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and the National Institutes of Health (grants TR002489, DK098246, DK108612, DK118612, GM104940).