Effects of QD insulin detemir or neutral protamine Hagedorn on blood glucose control in patients with type I diabetes mellitus using a basal-bolus regimen

Clin Ther. 2004 May;26(5):724-36. doi: 10.1016/s0149-2918(04)90072-0.


Objective: The purpose of this trial was to compare the effects of QD basal insulin replacement using insulin detemir versus neutral protamine Hagedorn (NPH) insulin in basal-bolus therapy in combination with regular human insulin (HI) in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM).

Methods: This was a 6-month, prospective, randomized, open-label, controlled, parallel-group trial conducted at 92 sites in Europe and Australia. The trial population included men and women with type 1 DM for at least 1 year aged > or = 18 years with glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA(1c)) <== 12% already taking QD basal-bolus treatment with an intermediate- or long-acting insulin and a fast-acting human insulin or insulin analogue as bolus insulin. Patients were randomly assigned (2:1) to 6 months of treatment with insulin detemir or NPH at bedtime in combination with HI with main meals. Main outcome measures were blood glucose control as assessed by HbA(1c), fasting plasma glucose (FPG), 9-point self-monitored blood glucose (SMBG) profiles, 24-hour continuous blood glucose profiles, hypoglycemia, weight gain, and adverse events.

Results: Of the 749 patients randomized to treatment, 747 were exposed to trial products and included in the intent-to-treat analysis set. Seven hundred patients completed the trial: 465 (94.7%) in the insulin detemir group and 235 (91.8%) in the NPH group. After 6 months, FPG was lower with insulin detemir than with NPH (-1.16 mmol/L difference; P = 0.001), whereas HbA(1c) did not differ significantly between treatments (-0.12% [95% CI, -0.25 to 0.02]; P = NS). Day-to-day variability in self-measured fasting blood glucose was lower with insulin detemir (SD, 2.82 vs 3.60 mmol/L; P < 0.001). The overall shape of the 9-point SMBG profiles differed significantly between treatments (P = 0.006), with lower glucose levels before breakfast with insulin detemir than with NPH (P < 0.001). There was a 26% reduction in the relative risk of nocturnal hypoglycemia with insulin detemir compared with NPH (P = 0.003). Gain in body weight was significantly lower after 6 months with insulin detemir than with NPH (-0.54 kg difference; P = 0.024). The frequency and type of adverse events were similar between treatment groups.

Conclusions: In this study, QD administration of insulin detemir at bedtime resulted in lower fasting blood glucose levels with less day-to-day variability and less fluctuation from ean blood glucose levels over 24 hours than NPH insulin, combined with an overall reduction in the risk of nocturnal hypoglycemia. These findings suggest that evening administration of insulin detemir may provide an opportunity to further improve fasting blood glucose targets.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Carrier Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Carrier Proteins / adverse effects
  • Carrier Proteins / therapeutic use*
  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy*
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemia / chemically induced
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / adverse effects
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Insulin / administration & dosage
  • Insulin / adverse effects
  • Insulin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Insulin / therapeutic use*
  • Insulin Detemir
  • Insulin, Isophane / administration & dosage
  • Insulin, Isophane / adverse effects
  • Insulin, Isophane / therapeutic use*
  • Insulin, Long-Acting
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies


  • Blood Glucose
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin
  • Insulin, Long-Acting
  • Insulin Detemir
  • Insulin, Isophane