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J Nephrol. 2012 Nov-Dec;25(6):989-95. doi: 10.5301/jn.5000081.

Insulin glargine improves glycemic control and quality of life in type 2 diabetic patients on hemodialysis.

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Division of Nephrology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Tokai University School of Medicine, Isehara, Kanagawa, Japan.



Diabetic patients on hemodialysis often experience severe hypoglycemia during intensive insulin therapy using conventional neutral protamine hagedorn (NPH) or nonintensive therapy with premixed insulin. Insulin glargine can simulate normal basal insulin secretion. We investigated the efficacy and safety of switching from NPH to glargine in type 2 diabetes patients on hemodialysis.


Hemodialysis patients who were being treated with NPH-based basal-bolus insulin therapy, regular insulin, NPH insulin or premixed insulin were switched to glargine. The target early morning fasting blood glucose (FBG) level was 110 mg/dL. Any increase in glargine dose was coupled with a reduction in the dose of any regular or rapid-acting insulin analogue as far as possible while maintaining a constant daily insulin dose. FBG, HbA(1c), daily insulin dosage, percentage of basal insulin dose in total daily insulin dose, body weight and incidence of hypoglycemic events were evaluated during the study period. Quality of life (QOL) was measured with a short questionnaire.


HbA(1c) improved significantly during the observation period after switching. The daily insulin dose was reduced from 20.1 ± 15.2 to 18.1 ± 15.1 U/day, although the change was not statistically significant. FBG decreased significantly from 174.4 ± 58.7 to 126.2 ± 27.7 mg/dL. Body weight measured after dialysis did not change, and there were no changes in hemoglobin or hematocrit. The frequency of hypoglycemic episodes decreased significantly. QOL reports with switching to glargine were improved compared with those before switching.


The results suggest that glargine is useful, can improve QOL of diabetic patients on hemodialysis, and achieve better glycemic control than NPH.

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