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Diabetes Care. 2014;37(3):604-10. doi: 10.2337/dc13-1636. Epub 2013 Oct 29.

Does a patient-managed insulin intensification strategy with insulin glargine and insulin glulisine provide similar glycemic control as a physician-managed strategy? Results of the START (Self-Titration With Apidra to Reach Target) Study: a randomized noninferiority trial.

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Corresponding author: Stewart B. Harris,


OBJECTIVE Diabetes self-management is universally regarded as a foundation of diabetes care. We determined whether comparable glycemic control could be achieved by self-titration versus physician titration of a once-daily bolus insulin dose in patients with type 2 diabetes who are unable to achieve optimal glycemia control with a basal insulin. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Patients with type 2 diabetes, an HbA1c level >7% (53 mmol/mol), and either nocturnal hypoglycemia episodes or an insufficient basal insulin glargine level (with or without oral agents) to achieve a fasting plasma glucose level ≤6 mmol/L (108 mg/dL) were studied. Participants all had bolus insulin glulisine added at breakfast and were allocated to either algorithm-guided patient self-titration or physician titration. The primary outcome was an HbA1c level ≤7% (53 mmol/mol) without severe hypoglycemia. RESULTS After a mean (SD) follow-up of 159.4 days (36.2 days), 28.4% of participants in the self-titration arm vs. 21.2% in the physician titration arm achieved an HbA1c level of ≤7% (53 mmol/mol) without severe hypoglycemia (between-group absolute difference 7.2%; 95% CI -3.2 to 17.7). The lower end of this 95% confidence interval was within the predetermined noninferiority boundary of -5% (P noninferiority = 0.011). CONCLUSIONS In stable patients with type 2 diabetes who are receiving doses of basal insulin glargine who require bolus insulin, a simple bolus insulin patient-managed titration algorithm is as effective as a physician-managed algorithm.


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