Research

Titrating insulin in patients with type 2 diabetes using a structured self-monitoring blood glucose regimen

K L Kalweit, D G van Zyl, P Rheeder

Abstract


Background. Self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) can inform on the timing of hyperglycaemia, but there is currently no standardised approach to utilising these data to improve glycaemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Objectives. To assess the improvement in glycaemic control when an insulin titration algorithm was used in combination with SMBG in patients with poorly controlled, insulin-treated type 2 diabetes.

Methods. This 6-month prospective study recruited 39 poorly controlled (glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) ≥8.5%; 69.4 mmol/mol) type 2 diabetes subjects using twice-daily biphasic insulin from two state hospitals in Tshwane, South Africa. Patients were asked to perform structured SMBG over 4 weeks and return monthly for consultations where physicians titrated insulin doses using an algorithm guided by the data collected. The primary endpoint was the trend in HbA1c measured at baseline and 3 and 6 months.

Results. Mean HbA1c decreased over the study period by 1.89% (95% confidence interval (CI) –2.46 - –1.33; p<0.001). The hypoglycaemic event rate (<4.0 mmol/L) was 33.08 events per patient year. Total daily insulin use increased by a mean of 40.12 units over the study period (standard error 7.7; p<0.001) and weight increased by an average of 3.98 kg (95% CI 2.56 - 5.41; p<0.001).

Conclusions. Monthly algorithmic insulin titration guided by structured SMBG can markedly improve glycaemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes by aggressively increasing insulin doses not previously expected in this population, with moderate hypoglycaemic events and weight gain observed.

 


Authors' affiliations

K L Kalweit, School of Health Systems and Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa

D G van Zyl, Department of Internal Medicine, Kalafong Hospital and School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa

P Rheeder, Department of Internal Medicine, Steve Biko Academic Hospital and School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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Keywords

Type 2 diabetes; Structured self-monitoring; Blood glucose; Insulin titration algorithm; Glycated haemoglobin; HbA1c

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2018;108(8):654-659. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2018.v108i8.12801

Article History

Date submitted: 2018-07-25
Date published: 2018-07-25

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