Published on 23 June 2017

Less severe hypos for people with type 2 diabetes taking long-acting insulin treatment.

A long-acting insulin treatment for people with type 2 diabetes has been found to reduce the risk of heart problems and severe hypoglycaemia.

Compared to existing treatments people with type 2 diabetes taking Tresiba, a long-acting insulin by Novo Nordisk, reported less night-time hypos (low blood sugar levels) or incidences when they needed assistance during a hypo.

The results of the DEVOTE trial were presented recently at the 77th annual Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association.

Dr Ponnusamy Saravanan, Associate Clinical Professor and Honorary Consultant Physician in Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, University of Warwick, said: “There are 4 million people living with type 2 diabetes in the UK. Given the increased risk of cardiovascular complications associated with type 2 diabetes, when choosing to initiate therapy it’s increasingly important for clinicians to consider the cardiovascular safety of treatments based on the latest data. DEVOTE is unique as it is the first double-blind head to head insulin trial looking at cardiovascular safety. The full findings from DEVOTE provide further evidence supporting Tresiba’s (insulin degludec) cardiovascular safety profile.”

Type 2 diabetes treatment could prevent heart attacks

Another report from the recent 77th annual Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association highlighted the effectiveness of type 2 diabetes treatment, liraglutide, in reducing the risk of major cardiovascular problems, such as heart attacks.

In the LEADER trial those treated with Victoza (liraglutide) experienced significantly fewer episodes of severe hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) when compared to placebo, both in addition to standard of care.

The study found that people who experienced a severe hypoglycaemic episode were at a significantly greater risk of major cardiovascular events and that the risk of a cardiovascular event was far greater within 60 days of having a severe hypoglycaemic episode.

In the trial those treated with liraglutide experienced significantly fewer episodes of severe hypoglycaemia when compared to placebo, both in addition to standard of care.

Professor Steve Bain, UK LEADER trial National Leader and Assistant Medical Director for Research and Development for ABM University Health Board and Clinical Lead for the Diabetes Research Unit, Wales, said: “We know that patients who experience severe hypoglycaemia are at an increased risk of CV complications. The sub-analysis findings are important as clinicians have another option to consider with Victoza, as a treatment that has the potential to reduce the incidence of severe hypoglycaemia and reduce the cardiovascular risk for those who do experience this complication. Having appropriate treatment options available is crucial as considering a patient’s profile in a broader sense, not just focusing on glycaemic control, is becoming much more of a focus in clinical practice and having the means to individualise care is a must.”

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