Basal insulin switch from NPH to glargine in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes

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Abstract

Background

Insulin glargine is a long-acting insulin analogue increasingly used instead of neutral protamine Hagedorn (NPH) insulin in young subjects with type 1 diabetes.

Objective

We evaluated the clinical course of diabetes in children and adolescents who were switched from NPH to insulin glargine.

Methods

Between August 2003 and November 2004, a total of 76 subjects were switched to glargine in our clinic, treating 340 children with type 1 diabetes. All the subjects had been receiving insulin NPH, and their serum C-peptide levels had been non-detectable for at least 1 yr. Data were collected retrospectively, and 12–18 months after the change, experiences with glargine were inquired using a questionnaire. Seven subjects (9.2%) discontinued glargine before 12 months, and seven refused to participate.

Results

Data for 62 subjects were analyzed. At the switch (0 months), their mean age was 12.7 yr (range 5.1–17.5), mean duration of diabetes was 6.7 yr (range 1.8–14.3), and mean hemoglobin A1c was (HbA1c) 9.2%. Twelve months later (+12 months), the mean HbA1c remained similar (9.2%), the proportion of long-acting insulin was smaller (47.7 vs. 58.1%; p < 0.001), and the daily insulin dose was lower (0.97 vs. 1.05 IU/kg; p < 0.001). The number of injections was lower at +12 months (17.7% with more than five injections vs. 64.5%; p < 0.001). No differences were seen in weight for height or the number of severe hypoglycemias. Most subjects who continued with glargine for ≥12 months considered glargine better than NPH.

Conclusions

A switch to insulin glargine retains a similar glycemic control and does not change the number of severe hypoglycemias.

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