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Diabetes Care. 2005 Aug;28(8):1948-53.

Effect of low-dose insulin treatment on body weight and physical development in children and adolescents at risk for type 1 diabetes.

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  • 1Division of Endocrinology, Children's Hospital Boston, 300 Longwood Ave., Boston, MA 02115, USA.



Insulin's role in body weight regulation is controversial. We evaluated the effect of parenteral insulin on body weight and physical development in children and adolescents at risk for type 1 diabetes.


We performed a secondary analysis of the parenteral arm of the Diabetes Prevention Trial-Type 1 Diabetes (DPT-1), a randomized controlled trial of low-dose parenteral insulin (human ultralente insulin at 0.25 units x kg(-1) x day(-1)) in subjects with a >50% 5-year risk of diabetes. Analysis was limited to 100 subjects (55 intervention, 45 closely monitored) aged <19 years at randomization whose weight was followed for at least 2 years by study end after excluding subjects who were noncompliant within 2 years or developed diabetes within 36 months of randomization.


Subjects ranged in age from 4.07 to 18.98 years. There were no significant differences at randomization between subjects in each group with respect to sex, age, weight, height, BMI, Tanner stage, or glucose tolerance. We found no differences over 2 years between the intervention and closely monitored groups in the change in weight (median 6.8 vs. 6.0 kg, P = 0.65), height (median 10.7 vs. 10.1 cm, P = 0.66), BMI (median 0.9 vs. 1.0 kg/m2, P = 0.79), or Tanner stage (median 0 vs. 0, P = 0.35). Multiple regression showed no effect of insulin on change in weight (P = 0.53) or BMI (P = 0.95) over 2 years after adjustment for relevant covariates.


Low-dose insulin treatment for 2 years did not affect the weight, BMI, or physical development of nondiabetic children and adolescents.

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