Objective: To examine how insulin therapy is used in France under real life conditions for type 1 and insulin-treated type 2 patients.
Material and methods: The "Schema survey" was a cross-sectional survey carried out for all the insulin-treated patients seen by participating physicians on a given day. All registered diabetologists in France were invited to participate, 934 initially agreed, 450 returned at least one questionnaire. These 450 physicians appeared to be representative of the whole. The reasons for which 484 physicians who had initially agreed to participate did not were collected by telephone and do not seem to introduce a bias. 1,263 patients were included in the analysis, type 1: 57.6%, type 2: 36.8%.
Results: Over 54% of type 1 patients were treated with 3 or more insulin injections per day. Among type 1 patients treated with 2 injections per day, 30% were younger than 18. Over 82% type 2 patients were treated with 1 or 2 insulin injections per day. A regimen combining oral agents and bed time NPH was used in 18% of type 2 patients. Premixed insulins were used by 45.5% of type 2 and 39.5% of type 1 patients. For patients under 3 or more injections per day, over 30 different regimens were identified. About 40% of patients, either type 1 or 2, were poorly controlled (HbA1c > 8.5%). The frequency of blood glucose monitoring appears to comply with recommendations.
Conclusions: Under real life conditions, a majority of French type 1 patients are treated with intensified multiple injections but a lot are not, despite inadequate metabolic control. Only few type 2 patients are treated with intensified therapy.