Initiating insulin therapy in elderly patients with Type 2 diabetes: efficacy and safety of lispro mix 25 vs. basal insulin combined with oral glucose-lowering agents

B H R Wolffenbuttel, L J Klaff, R Bhushan, J L Fahrbach, H Jiang, S Martin
Diabetic Medicine: a Journal of the British Diabetic Association 2009, 26 (11): 1147-55

AIMS: To compare starter insulins in the elderly subgroup of the DURABLE trial 24-week initiation phase.

METHODS: In a post-hoc analysis of the > or = 65 years subgroup enrolled in the DURABLE trial, we compared the safety and efficacy of lispro mix 25 (LM25: lispro 25%/insulin lispro protamine suspension 75%), n = 258, vs. glargine, n = 222, added to oral glucose-lowering agents.

RESULTS: Baseline glycated hemoglobin (HbA(1c)) was similar (LM25 8.7 +/- 1.2, glargine 8.8 +/- 1.1%, P = 0.612). At 24-weeks, LM25 patients had lower HbA(1c) (7.0 +/- 0.9 vs. 7.3 +/- 0.9%, P < 0.001), greater HbA(1c) reduction (-1.7 +/- 1.2 vs. -1.5 +/- 1.1%, P < 0.001), and more patients reaching HbA(1c) < 7.0% (55.6 vs. 41.0%, P = 0.005). LM25 patients were on more insulin (0.40 +/- 0.19 vs. 0.33 +/- 0.19 u/kg/day, P < 0.001) and experienced more weight gain (3.6 +/- 3.6 vs. 1.8 +/- 3.2 kg, P < 0.001). Additionally, LM25-treated patients reported a higher mean overall hypoglycaemia rate than glargine patients (40.8 +/- 47.6 vs. 31.1 +/- 48.5 episodes/patient/year, P = 0.037), while nocturnal hypoglycaemia rates were similar. Over 24 weeks, incidence of severe hypoglycaemia was higher for LM25 (4.3% vs. 0.9%, P = 0.018); however, by 24-week endpoint incidence was similar (0.8% vs. 0.0%P = 0.125).

CONCLUSIONS: In this elderly subgroup post-hoc analysis, LM25 demonstrated a lower endpoint HbA(1c) and a higher % of patients reaching HbA(1c) target of < 7.0%, but with more weight gain and higher rates of hypoglycaemia compared to glargine.

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