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 April 24, 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 April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) A disease that has killed more than six million cave-dwelling bats in the United States is on the move and wildlife biologists are worried. White Nose Syndrome, discovered in New York in 2006, has now spread to 25 states. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) That little voice telling you to exercise, get in shape and get healthy is probably coming from your boss. More companies are beefing up wellness programs to try and cut down their health care costs. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) Scientists say for the extremely elderly, their stem cells might reach a state of exhaustion. This could limit one's life span. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) The Food and Drug Administration wants to crack down on the use of e-cigarettes, banning the sale of the product to minors. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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