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Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 2012 Jan;28(1):97-105. doi: 10.1002/dmrr.1288.

Strategies for insulin initiation: insights from the French LIGHT observational study.

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  • 1Dijon Université Hôpital, Dijon, France.



The progressive nature of type 2 diabetes necessitates exogenous insulin use for most patients; basal insulin plus oral anti-diabetes drugs (OADs) is a well-validated way to facilitate insulin initiation. The primary aim of this study was to explore insulin initiation strategies and outcomes for patients using insulin detemir or glargine plus oral anti-diabetes drugs.


LIGHT was a 3-month, longitudinal observational study conducted across 761 French centres in insulin-naïve type 2 diabetes patients managed under routine clinical care conditions, in either primary or secondary care. Endpoints included changes in HbA(1c) , fasting plasma glucose (FPG), rate of hypoglycaemia, weight, and adverse events.


Most physicians initiated a basal analogue to improve glycaemic control (97%), with many delaying beginning treatment for several months (9 ± 9.0 months for general practitioners, 10.2 ± 16.2 months for specialists). Most patients continued oral anti-diabetes drug therapy (95%) and lifestyle measures (92%), with 2-3 blood glucose readings per day and follow-up telephone calls for dose optimization. Mean change in HbA(1c) from baseline was - 1.3%, and - 3.1 mmol/L for fasting plasma glucose (both p < 0.0001). Hypoglycaemia increased from 1.4 to 5.6 events/patient/year (p < 0.0001), and weight decreased on average by 0.5 kg with detemir, with no change in glargine. Most patients (93%) reported being satisfied or very satisfied with their insulin.


Insulin initiation with detemir or glargine can be successfully managed in both primary and secondary care; the benefits of basal analogues (once-daily dosing, low rates of hypoglycaemia compared with neutral protamine Hagedorn) may have contributed to patient acceptance of the regimen.

Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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