Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study debunks belief insulin puts people with diabetes at risk of heart disease

Date:
June 11, 2012
Source:
McMaster University
Summary:
Researchers have discovered that long-term insulin use does not harm people with diabetes or pre-diabetes or put them at risk of heart attacks, strokes or cancer.

Researchers at McMaster University have discovered that long-term insulin use does not harm people with diabetes or pre-diabetes or put them at risk of heart attacks, strokes or cancer.

This is contrary to concerns that long-term use of insulin may cause heart disease, says Dr. Hertzel Gerstein, principal investigator of the study, professor of medicine at McMaster's Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine and deputy director of the Population Health Research Institute at McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences.

"People have been debating the question of whether there are adverse consequences to long-term insulin use for years," he said. "This study provides the clearest answer yet to that question: No, there are not."

Gerstein recently presented the findings of the ORIGIN study (Outcome Reduction with an Initial Glargine Intervention study), at the scientific sessions of the American Diabetes Association in Philadelphia. The results were also recently published in two papers in the medical journal New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

A second important finding of the study is that people with pre-diabetes who received daily basal insulin injections with insulin glargine had a 28 per cent lower chance of developing type 2 diabetes, even after the injections stopped.

Gerstein jointly led the study with Dr. Salim Yusuf, professor of medicine and director of the Population Health Research Institute.

Today, more than nine million Canadians are living with diabetes or pre-diabetes. Diabetes is a chronic condition, often debilitating and sometimes fatal disease, in which the body either cannot produce insulin or cannot properly use the insulin it produces. This leads to high levels of glucose in the blood which can damage organs, blood vessels and nerves. The body needs insulin to use glucose as a source of energy.

In the ORIGIN study, more than 12,500 people at 537 sites in 40 countries with an average age of 64, who are at high risk for, or in the early stages of type 2 diabetes, were randomized to either one daily injection of insulin (glargine) or no insulin (standard care) for an average of six years.

Researchers found no difference among the two groups in cardiovascular outcomes or in the development of any type of cancer. This suggests daily insulin injections (with insulin glargine) to normalize glucose levels are not harmful when taken over long periods of time. Throughout the study, most of the participants given insulin maintained normal fasting glucose levels (below 6 mmol/l).

The study confirmed the presence of two previously known side effects of insulin -- hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and modest weight gain. Both were considered minor from a medical point of view, with participants gaining an average of 3.5 pounds during the study and experiencing a low, 0.7 per cent higher risk of severe hypoglycemia per year than the people not on insulin.

"We now know what the risks are of taking insulin on a long-term basis, and they are low," Gerstein said.

The study also discovered that daily doses of one-gram omega-3 fatty acid capsules did not prevent cardiac-related deaths in people with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes.

"There was neither benefit nor harm in the participants who were studied," said Jackie Bosch, associate professor of McMaster's School of Rehabilitation Science and project manager for the trial. "However, the effect of these supplements in other groups, and the effect of a diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids was not studied."

The study was funded by the drug company Sanofi Inc. and the omega-3 supplement was provided by Pronova Biocare AS, the Norwegian manufacturer of omega-3, and independently conducted by the Population Health Research Institute at McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

McMaster University. "Study debunks belief insulin puts people with diabetes at risk of heart disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 June 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120611152850.htm>.
McMaster University. (2012, June 11). Study debunks belief insulin puts people with diabetes at risk of heart disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120611152850.htm
McMaster University. "Study debunks belief insulin puts people with diabetes at risk of heart disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120611152850.htm (accessed April 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 25, 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