Insulin glargine provides greater improvements in glycaemic control vs. intensifying lifestyle management for people with type 2 diabetes treated with OADs and 7-8% A1c levels. The TULIP study

J-F Blicklé, N Hancu, M Piletic, V Profozic, M Shestakova, M-P Dain, S Jacqueminet, A Grimaldi
Diabetes, Obesity & Metabolism 2009, 11 (4): 379-86

AIM: To determine whether earlier administration of insulin glargine (glargine) vs. the intensification of lifestyle management (LM) improves glycaemic control in type 2 diabetes patients with A1c 7-8% treated with oral therapy.

METHODS: TULIP [Testing the Usefulness of gLargine when Initiated Promptly in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM)] was a 9-month, 12-visit, open-label, multinational, multicentre, randomized study to evaluate starting glargine or intensifying LM in T2DM patients aged 40-75 years, body mass index (BMI) 24-35 kg/m2 and A1c 7-8%, treated with maximum doses of metformin and sulphonylurea for > or = 2 years. Glargine was injected once daily (evening) and titrated to fasting blood glucose 0.7-1.0 g/l. In the LM arm, dietary and physical activity counselling recommended stable weight for people with BMI < 27 kg/m2 or weight loss of 3 kg for patients with BMI > or = 27 kg/m2. A total of 215 patients were randomized to glargine (n = 106) or LM (n = 109). The primary objective was patients achieving A1c < 7% at endpoint. Secondary endpoints included changes in A1c, in fasting plasma glucose (FPG), body weight and hypoglycaemia incidence.

RESULTS: Two hundred and eleven (52.6% male) patients were randomized and treated; mean (+/- s.d.) age 60.7 +/- 7.9 years, weight 84.5 +/- 13.1 kg, BMI 29.9 +/- 3.5 kg/m2 and A1c 7.6 +/- 0.4%. More patients reached A1c < 7% (66 vs. 38%; p < 0.0001) or < 6.5% (34 vs. 11%; p = 0.0001) with glargine vs. LM. The change in FPG from baseline to study endpoint was significantly greater in the glargine vs. the LM arm (-0.50 +/- 0.47 vs. -0.05 +/- 0.39 g/l respectively; p < 0.0001). Compared with the glargine group, the LM group showed a decrease in weight (+0.9 +/- 2.9 vs. -2.5 +/- 3.2 kg; p < 0.0001), as well as the expected lower symptomatic hypoglycaemia (55.3 vs. 25.0%; p < 0.0001) and nocturnal hypoglycaemia (20.4 vs. 5.6%; p = 0.0016). No significant changes were observed from baseline to study endpoint in any of the lipid parameters tested.

CONCLUSIONS: In patients with T2DM with A1c 7-8%, who were previously treated by conventional LM and OAD therapy, adding glargine resulted in greater improvements in glycaemic control vs. intensifying LM.

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