June 20, 2014 – Insulin Risk

June 13, 2014

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ANCHOR LEAD: ADDING INSULIN TO OTHER DRUGS TO CONTROL DIABETES MAY BE RISKY, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

People with type 2 diabetes usually begin taking a drug called metformin when other measures such as weight loss, exercise and diet changes don’t keep blood sugar under control.  But they often require another medication in addition.  Now a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association sounds a warning about using insulin in this capacity.  Rita Kalyani, a diabetes expert at Johns Hopkins, interprets the data.

KALYANI:  What they found was that all cause death could be slightly increased when they added insulin versus a second oral agent, but there were some caveats to this study.  First, this was almost all male. It was a Veteran’s Affairs population.  The participants in this study had the second agent added after about 14 months of being on metformin, begs the question of whether they had potentially more severe diabetes to begin with, so these results may not be generalizable to all our patients with diabetes.  :28

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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