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U.S. researchers have found that more than half of the people who are prescribed insulin to help control diabetes skip an injection from time to time, and one in five do so on a regular basis.
The study, which will be published in the February issue of Diabetes Care, found that patients skip insulin injections for a number of reasons including pain, embarrassment and because they don't follow a nutritional diet.
"Intentionally skipping insulin injections may be more common than clinicians think," said researcher Mark Peyrot, a professor of sociology at Loyola University Maryland.
"It's important for physicians and other health-care professionals to be aware of potential risk factors, especially for patients who report injection-related problems," he added.
The survey showed that 57 percent of respondents have intentionally skipped an insulin injection in the past and nearly 20 percent do so "sometimes" or "often," according to WebMD.
Researchers found that people who were disabled, had a higher household income and were at an advanced age were less likely to skip their prescribed injections.
Missing necessary insulin doses can lead to high blood sugar and an increased risk of developing serious complications, such as kidney failure and blindness.
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