Objective: To compare glycaemic control and cardiovascular risk profile in patients with type 2 diabetes following 12 months' treatment with either repaglinide or metformin.
Study design and methods: This was an open uncontrolled randomised study in n=112 patients with inadequately controlled type 2 diabetes not previously treated with oral hypoglycaemic agents. Patients beginning treatment with either repaglinide or metformin entered an 8-week titration period (to optimise dosage: repaglinide, 2-4 mg/day; metformin, 1500-2500 mg/day) followed by a 12-month treatment period. Glycaemic control and cardiovascular risk factors were determined at baseline and at the end of the treatment period.
Results: Mean (S.D.) final drug doses were 3 (+/-1) mg/day in the repaglinide group and 2000 (+/-500) mg/day in the metformin group. Significant improvements in glycaemic control [glycated haemoglobin, fasting and 2-h postprandial plasma glucose (PPG)] were demonstrated in both treatment groups. The decrease in PPG was significantly greater in the repaglinide group (P<0.05). During the treatment period, fasting plasma insulin (FPI) decreased significantly in both groups, more so with metformin (P<0.05). Two-hour postprandial plasma insulin (PPI) levels decreased only in the metformin group (P<0.05). Significant improvements between baseline and final visit were demonstrated in one or both groups in the following cardiovascular risk factors: total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), triglycerides, plasminogen activator inhibitor, lipoprotein(a) and homocysteine. No changes were observed in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), apolipoprotein A-I, apolipoprotein B, fibrinogen, body mass index (BMI) or blood pressure.
Conclusions: The use of repaglinide or metformin in drug therapy-nai;ve patients with type 2 diabetes over a 12-month period is associated with improvements in both glycaemic control and cardiovascular risk profile. The latter cannot necessarily be attributed to the pharmacotherapy per se, but provides reassurance in the context of initiating oral hypoglycaemic drug therapy with these agents.