Four in 10 Adults With Diabetes Report Taking a GLP-1 Receptor Agonist
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Four in 10 Adults With Diabetes Report Taking a GLP-1 Receptor Agonist

Even with health care insurance, users report difficulty paying for the medication

TUESDAY, May 14, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- One in eight adults (12 percent) say they have ever taken a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist (GLP-1 RA) and 6 percent say they are currently using one, according to the results of a new KFF Health Tracking Poll, released May 10.

Alex Montero, from KFF Health, and colleagues analyzed data collected April 23 to May 1, 2024, online and by telephone, among a nationally representative sample of 1,479 U.S. adults in English and Spanish.

Survey results show that of the adults who report ever using GLP-1 RAs, 43 percent do so for diabetes, 25 percent for heart disease, and 22 percent for overweight or obesity. By race, Black and Hispanic adults report higher use than White adults (18, 13, and 10 percent, respectively). Most users say they took the drug to treat a chronic condition, including diabetes or heart disease (62 percent), while four in 10 say they took it primarily to lose weight. More than half of users (54 percent) say it was difficult to afford the cost, including 22 percent who say it was "very difficult." Even among insured adult users, 53 percent report the cost was difficult to afford.

"About eight in ten (79 percent) adults who have taken GLP-1 drugs report getting these drugs or a prescription for them from their primary care doctor or a specialist, while fewer report getting them from an online provider or website (11 percent), a medical spa or aesthetic medical center (10 percent), or from somewhere else (2 percent)," the authors write.

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