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Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2009 Oct;19(8):571-9. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2008.05.003. Epub 2008 Aug 3.

Lower fasting blood glucose, glucose variability and nocturnal hypoglycaemia with glargine vs NPH basal insulin in subjects with Type 1 diabetes.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Endocrinology and Metabolism, University of Perugia, Italy.



To compare switching from NPH insulin (NPH) to insulin glargine (glargine) with continuing NPH for changes in fasting blood glucose (FBG) in patients with Type 1 diabetes on basal-bolus therapy with insulin lispro as bolus insulin. Secondary objectives included self-monitoring blood glucose, mean daily blood glucose (MDBG) and mean amplitude glucose excursion (MAGE) values alongside changes in HbA(1c) and safety profiles.


This was a 30-week, parallel, open-label, multicentre study. Seven-point profiles were used to calculate MDBG and MAGE. Hypoglycaemia and adverse events were recorded by participants. FBG improved significantly with both glargine (baseline-endpoint change: -28.0 mg/dL; 95% CI: -37.3, -18.7 mg/dL; p<0.001) and NPH (-9.8 mg/dL; 95% CI: -19.1, -0.5 mg/dL; p=0.0374). The improvement was significantly greater with glargine than NPH (mean difference: -18.2 mg/dL; 95% CI: -31.3, -5.2 mg/dL; p=0.0064). MDBG (-10.1 mg/dL; 95% CI: -18.1, -2.1 mg/dL; p=0.0126) and MAGE (-20.0 mg/dL; 95% CI: -34.5, -5.9 mg/dL; p=0.0056) decreased significantly with glargine, but not NPH although endpoint values were no different with the two insulins. Baseline to endpoint change in HbA(1c) was similar (-0.56 vs -0.56%) with no differences at endpoint. Overall hypoglycaemia was no different, but glargine reduced nocturnal hypoglycaemia ("serious episodes" with BG < 42 mg/dl, p=0.006) whereas NPH did not (p=0.123), although endpoint values were no different.


Switching from NPH to glargine is well tolerated and results into lower FBG, and lower glucose variability while reducing nocturnal hypoglycaemia. These data provide a rationale for more aggressive titration to target with glargine in Type 1 diabetes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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