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Diabetes Scientific/Research News

Progress Towards The Cure

New Research: Not All Insulin Alike
Source: American Diabetes Association
Publication date: 2002-05-06

A Tulane University researcher announces that patients with type 2 diabetes who were treated with insulin glargine were at a significantly lower risk (24%) for hypoglycemic events than patients treated with NPH insulin, according to a study presented Thursday at the 11th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Clinical Endocrinologists. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) is the most common adverse side effect of insulin and may result in a rapid heartbeat, sweating, personality changes, blurry vision and numbness.

The study also found that fewer patients treated with insulin glargine (15.4 percent) reported nocturnal hypoglycemic symptoms than patients treated with NPH insulin (27.1 percent). Patients with type 2 diabetes treated with insulin glargine were almost half as likely (17.3 percent) to report confirmed hypoglycemic events compared with patients treated with NPH insulin (31.3 percent).

"This study demonstrates that insulin glargine lowers risk for hypoglycemia, particularly nighttime symptoms, compared with NPH insulin for patients with type 2 diabetes," says Dr. Vivian Fonseca, the Tullis-Tulane Alumni Chair in Diabetes at Tulane University, principal investigator of the study. "This finding is important because fear of hypoglycemia -- among both physicians and patients -- can delay the start of insulin treatment and leave patients with uncontrolled blood sugar levels, increasing their risks for long-term health complications associated with diabetes."

This multi-center, randomized comparison of insulin glargine and insulin NPH, involved 100 patients with type 2 diabetes who had previously been treated with once-daily NPH insulin. Patients were treated for up to 28 weeks with one dose (at bedtime) of either insulin glargine or NPH insulin and both groups were allowed to use preprandial regular insulin as part of their daily regimes.

"Insulin glargine is a once-daily insulin that provides a constant absorbsion profile, without the peaks in release that are associated with NPH insulin," said Dr. Fonseca. "This steady release profile may be responsible for the lower incidence of hypoglycemia reported."

SOURCE: Tulane Health Sciences Center

Visit the center online at www2.tulane.edu/hsc.

Publication date: 2002-05-06
2002, YellowBrix, Inc.