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Analogue insulin better for night-time hypos in type 1 diabetes, researchers say

People with type 1 diabetes who take analogue insulin have less episodes of hypoglycemia in the night compared to those on human insulin, new research has found.
Among those with type 1 diabetes on human insulin the frequency of night-time hypos in this new study was more than 40 per cent, but only 16 per cent those on analogue insulin.
Both human insulin and analogue insulin are grown in the laboratory whereas analogue insulin undergoes genetic alterations to improve the rate at which is absorbed by the blood.
Researchers from Denmark wanted to compare the different forms of synthetic insulin in relation to the risk of hypoglycemia in people with both recurrent and severe hypoglycemia.
A total of 72 people were studied over two nights, with blood glucose levels monitored every hour during the duration of their sleep.
The insulins that were compared included basal-bolus therapies consisting of either insulin detemir (Levemir) and insulin aspart (NovoRapid) or human NPH insulin and human regular insulin.
In people taking human insulin, night-time hypos were registered on 41 out of 101 nights, which worked out at a rate of 41 per cent. Those on analogue insulin registered 18 nights involving hypos out of 117 nights, or 16 per cent.
As well as more hypos occurring in people on human insulin, average blood glucose levels were higher overnight as well in this group. The average blood glucose level overnight was 10.6 mmol/l in the human insulin users compared with 8.1 mmol/l in the analogue insulin users.
“Treatment with insulin analogue reduces the occurrence of nocturnal hypoglycemia assessed by nocturnal glucose profiles in people with type 1 diabetes prone to severe hypoglycemia,” concluded the researchers.
“Nocturnal glucose profiles provide a more comprehensive assessment of clinical benefit of insulin regimens as compared to conventional recording of hypoglycemia.”
The findings appear online in the journal Diabetic Medicine.

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