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Diabetes Care. 1992 Feb;15(2):173-7.

Prevention of early-morning hyperglycemia in IDDM patients with long-acting zinc insulin.

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  • 1Institute of Internal Medicine and Metabolic Disease, University of Naples, Italy.



To evaluate whether an insulin regimen with a long-acting zinc insulin (Ultratard HM) could help control fasting hyperglycemia in insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) patients.


A randomized sequential crossover trial with 6-wk treatment periods was used. Ten IDDM patients from the diabetes clinic at the Medical School who had persistent fasting hyperglycemia (greater than 10 mmol/L) were studied. Patients with nocturnal hypoglycemia were excluded. All patients completed the study. Insulin regimens consisted of three daily injections of a short-acting insulin (Actrapid HM) before meals and either a long-acting zinc insulin (Ultratard HM) or an intermediate isophane insulin (Protaphane HM) before the evening meal. Each regimen was followed for 6 wk.


Fasting blood glucose levels (at 06:00 and 08:00) were significantly lower after the long-acting insulin regimen (6.26 +/- 0.88 vs. 10.82 +/- 4.27 mM, P less than 0.05 and 9.26 +/- 1.02 vs. 14.03 +/- 1.08 mM, P less than 0.05, respectively). Plasma-free insulin levels mirrored blood glucose concentrations because they were significantly higher at 06:00 and 08:00 after the long-acting insulin regimen (49.5 +/- 10.1 vs. 20.1 +/- 4.3 pM, P less than 0.05 and 31.6 +/- 5.0 vs. 16.5 +/- 3.4 pM, P less than 0.05, respectively). At any other time of the day, blood glucose and plasma insulin levels were not significantly different with either one of the two insulin regimens.


A long-acting zinc human insulin injected before the evening meal can help to control persistent fasting hyperglycemia in IDDM patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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