Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Some Patients May Not Need Insulin For Long-term Control Of Type 2 Diabetes, Study Suggests

Date:
June 16, 2008
Source:
The Endocrine Society
Summary:
Some patients with type 2 diabetes can control their disease for years yet avoid insulin injections by using multiple classes of oral diabetic medications, a new study found.

Some patients with type 2 diabetes can control their disease for years yet avoid insulin injections by using multiple classes of oral diabetic medications, a new study found. The results were presented June 15, at The Endocrine Society's 90th Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

Findings from the study contradict common beliefs about non-insulin diabetic medications, said principal investigator Arthur Swislocki, MD, of the Veterans Affairs (VA) Northern California Health Care System in Martinez. Oral diabetes medications help control blood glucose, or sugar, levels in people whose bodies still produce some insulin, as is true for many patients with type 2 diabetes.

"Generally, both patients and physicians believe that long-term use of oral diabetic medications is not possible because these drugs lose their effectiveness over time as the patient's pancreas fails," Swislocki said. "Our data suggest that some patients can remain in good glucose control for years using non-insulin, oral diabetic agents."

The study result is good news for people who need medical therapy for type 2 diabetes, according to Swislocki. "They may be able to delay or avoid the use of insulin," he said.

Some patients prefer pills over insulin injections because they are easier to use or because the patient fears needles or getting low blood sugar, as is possible with insulin treatment, he said.

Swislocki and his coworkers studied the VA medical records of 191 veterans (188 men and 3 women) with type 2 diabetes who received treatment beginning in 1992 and received follow-up for 15 consecutive years. Of these patients, 96 began treatment solely with oral drugs. The researchers found that 55 percent of the patients (53 of 96) who started treatment with oral diabetic agents were able to continue using them 15 years later and achieve good blood sugar control. A measure of long-term blood sugar control--hemoglobin A1c--improved from an average of nearly 8 percent to about 7 percent 15 years later in this group.

Of the 96 patients, 45 percent eventually switched to insulin, either alone or in combination with oral drugs. At the beginning of the study, the duration of diabetes was similar between these patients and those who remained on an oral drug regimen. However, the group of patients who stayed on oral medications throughout the study had a lower beginning A1c and were less obese than patients in the other group, the authors reported. They also were more likely to be white. Past studies show minorities have poorer blood sugar control than do whites.

Swislocki said the long-term effectiveness of oral diabetic medications seen in their study may reflect the wider range of oral drugs now available for treating type 2 diabetes, compared with 15 years ago. Therefore, if one class of drugs became less effective, other classes could be added in combination.

The study, however, did not specifically address whether or not oral diabetic drugs lose their effectiveness over a long time, according to Swislocki. Rather, it mainly tracked the prescribing practices of VA primary care providers. "Deductions about drug effectiveness need to be made cautiously," he said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Endocrine Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The Endocrine Society. "Some Patients May Not Need Insulin For Long-term Control Of Type 2 Diabetes, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080615142258.htm>.
The Endocrine Society. (2008, June 16). Some Patients May Not Need Insulin For Long-term Control Of Type 2 Diabetes, Study Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080615142258.htm
The Endocrine Society. "Some Patients May Not Need Insulin For Long-term Control Of Type 2 Diabetes, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080615142258.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) A look inside Monrovia's Island Hospital, a key treatment centre in the fight against Ebola in Liberia's capital city. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Puts Stress on Liberian Health Workers

Ebola Puts Stress on Liberian Health Workers

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) The Ebola outbreak is putting stress on first responders in Liberia. Ambulance drivers say they are struggling with chronic shortages of safety equipment and patients who don't want to go to the hospital. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Reassure Public Ebola Patient Won't Cause Outbreak

Doctors Reassure Public Ebola Patient Won't Cause Outbreak

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) After the announcement that the first U.S. patient had been diagnosed with Ebola, doctors were quick to say a U.S. outbreak is highly unlikely. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
TX Hospital Confirms Patient Admitted With Ebola

TX Hospital Confirms Patient Admitted With Ebola

AP (Sep. 30, 2014) Medical officials from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital confirm they are treating a patient with the Ebola virus, the first case found in the US. (Sept. 30 Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins