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J Diabetes Complications. 2006 Nov-Dec;20(6):356-60.

Determinants of daily insulin use in Type 1 diabetes.

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Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands; Department of Internal Medicine, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.



Insulin need for a given degree of glucose control varies markedly among individuals. We examined which factors determine daily insulin use in patients with Type 1 diabetes.


A cross-sectional study was performed in 416 patients. Clinical parameters, medication use, physical activity, smoking, alcohol consumption, and laboratory parameters were determined.


Body mass index and waist circumference were positively related to daily insulin use (2.3 U/kg/m(2), 95% CI=1.9-2.7 and 0.8 U/cm, 95% CI=0.6-0.9, adjusted for age and sex). Age, female sex, and duration of diabetes were inversely related to daily insulin dose. There was an increase of 3.6 U of insulin per mmol/l triglycerides (95% CI=1.04-6.2) and a decrease of 5.9 U of insulin per mmol/l high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (95% CI=-10.0 to -1.8), adjusted for age, sex, and weight. For blood pressure-lowering drugs, the strongest relation was found for thiazide diuretics (difference of 7.1 U insulin/day, 95% CI=0.2-14.2, adjusted for age, sex, and weight). The use of an insulin pump and physical activity were related to lower daily insulin need: -8.7 U/day (95% CI=-11.8 to -5.5) and -1.7 U/day per activity score unit (95% CI=-3.2 to -0.2), respectively, adjusted for age, sex, and weight. Smoking was related to an increased need of 5.3 U/day (95% CI=1.5-9.0), adjusted for age, sex, and weight.


Our results show that components of the metabolic syndrome are positively related to daily insulin use. Also, decreased physical activity, smoking, and the use of blood pressure-lowering drugs, which influence insulin sensitivity, are associated with an increased insulin need. These findings suggest that the presence of insulin resistance in Type 1 diabetes or "double diabetes" plays a key role in determining daily insulin need.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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