Aims: To compare insulin lispro with soluble human insulin in patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus fasting during Ramadan, with respect to the rate of hypoglycaemic episodes and postprandial blood glucose values after the main meal after sunset.
Methods: The insulins were compared in an open-label, randomized, cross-over study of 70 outpatients. Hypoglycaemic episodes were recorded by the patients in a self-monitoring diary. Fasting, 1-h and 2-h postprandial blood glucose values were recorded by the patient on three consecutive days at the end of each treatment period.
Results: The fasting blood glucose values before sunrise (P>0.4) and after sunset (P>0.6) were similar and did not differ significantly between both treatment groups. The rise in blood glucose after the main meal after sunset was 3.0+/-0.4 mmol/l after 1 h in the insulin lispro treatment group compared to 4.3+/-0.4 mmol/l in the soluble insulin treatment group (P<0.01), and 2.6+/-0.4 mmol/l after 2h with insulin lispro compared to 4.0+/-0.5 mmol/l with soluble insulin (P<0.008). Mean hypoglycaemic episodes per patient over 14 days were 1.3+/-0.1 vs. 2.6+/-0.2, P<0.002, respectively, for insulin lispro and soluble insulin. Most hypoglycaemic episodes occurred during the time period from 6 h after the before sunrise meal until breaking the fast after sunset.
Conclusions: The significantly lower rate of hypoglycaemic episodes combined with better control of postprandial blood glucose suggest insulin lispro may be more suitable prandial insulin for patients treated with Type 2 diabetes who fast during Ramadan.