Short-acting insulin analogues vs. regular human insulin in type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis

Diabetes Obes Metab. 2009 Jan;11(1):53-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1463-1326.2008.00934.x. Epub 2008 Jul 29.


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.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Insulin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Insulin / therapeutic use*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin