Aim: Short-acting insulin analogues, in comparison with regular human insulin (HRI), provide a greater control of postprandial glucose, while their superiority on haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) is controversial.
Method: All randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with a duration >4 weeks comparing short-acting insulin analogues (lispro, aspart or glulisine) with HRI in type 2 diabetic patients were retrieved; data on HbA1c and postprandial glucose et end-point and incidence of severe hypoglycaemia were extracted and meta-analysed.
Results: A total of 13 RCTs (7, 4 and 2 with lispro, aspart and glulisine, respectively) were retrieved and included in the analysis. Short-acting analogues reduced HbA1c by 0.4% (0.1-0.6%) (p = 0.027) in comparison with HRI. A significant improvement was observed also in self-monitored 2 h postbreakfast and dinner blood glucose. The overall rate of severe hypoglycaemia was not significantly different with short-acting analogues and HRI [Mantel-Haenszel odds ratio for 95% confidence interval 0.61 (0.25-1.45)].
Conclusion: In type 2 diabetic patients, short-acting insulin analogues provide a better control of HbA1c and postprandial glucose than regular human insulin, without any significant reduction of the risk of severe hypoglycaemia.