Aim: To identify factors associated with nocturnal hypoglycaemia in patients with type 2 diabetes who were new (< 2 months therapy) to insulin therapy.
Methods: A randomised, multicentre, 12-month parallel open-label study compared the clinical safety and efficacy of insulin lispro with regular human insulin. A cohort of North American patients completed a health-related quality of life (HRQOL) questionnaire which included questions related to the Health Beliefs Model (HBM). Measurements of hypoglycaemia rate and short-and long-term glucose control assessed clinical safety and efficacy. Three hundred and sixty-five type 2 diabetic patients were enrolled in the study, and 195 North American patients completed the HRQOL questionnaire.
Results: After adjustment for demographic and psychological factors, the study population demonstrated lower nocturnal hypoglycaemia risk with insulin lispro. Higher nocturnal hypoglycaemia risk was associated with reduced body mass index (b.m.i.), lower age, and basal ultralente insulin therapy. The associated hypoglycaemia risk was lower with increased alcohol consumption. Patients who completed the HRQOL survey demonstrated higher risk for nocturnal hypoglycaemia if they: (1) had more troublesome hyperglycaemia symptoms in the week before starting insulin; (2) were more confident in their ability to control their diabetes; or (3) thought that diabetes control did not offer a clear health benefit. Nocturnal hypoglycaemia risk was inversely associated with fear of hypoglycaemia.
Conclusions: Type 2 diabetic patients new to insulin therapy demonstrated lower risk of nocturnal hypoglycaemia with insulin lispro. Practitioners should consider patient characteristics and psychological factors that may predispose type 2 diabetes patients to nocturnal hypoglycaemia when initiating insulin therapy.