Reduced daily risk of glycemic variability: comparison of exenatide with insulin glargine

Diabetes Technol Ther. 2009 Jun;11(6):339-44. doi: 10.1089/dia.2008.0107.


Background: Conventional methods describing daily glycemic variability (i.e., standard deviation and coefficient of variation) do not express risk. Low and High Blood Glucose Indices (LBGI and HBGI, respectively) and Average Daily Risk Range (ADRR) are parameters derived from self-monitored blood glucose (SMBG) data that quantify risk of glycemic excursions and temporal aspects of variability. In the present study, variability parameters were used to assess effects of exenatide and insulin glargine on risk of acute blood glucose extremes.

Methods: New (LBGI, HBGI, and ADRR) and conventional variability analyses were applied retrospectively to SMBG data from patients with type 2 diabetes suboptimally controlled with metformin and a sulfonylurea plus exenatide or insulin glargine as a next therapeutic step. Exenatide- (n = 282) and insulin glargine-treated (n = 267) patients were well matched.

Results: Exenatide treatment reduced ADRR overall (exenatide, mean +/- SEM, 16.33 +/- 0.45; insulin glargine, 18.54 +/- 0.49; P = 0.001). Seventy-seven percent of exenatide-treated patients were at low risk for glucose variability compared with 62% of glargine-treated patients (P = 0.00023). LBGI for exenatide remained minimal for all categories and significantly lower than glargine for all comparisons, and HBGI for exenatide remained low or moderate for all categories and significantly lower than glargine after the morning and evening meals. Reduced variability in exenatide-treated patients was shown by conventional methods but provided no indications of risk.

Conclusions: Average glycemic control was similar for both treatment groups. However, exenatide treatment minimized risk for glycemic variability and extremes to a greater degree than insulin glargine treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects*
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Exenatide
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Insulin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Insulin / therapeutic use
  • Insulin Glargine
  • Insulin, Long-Acting
  • Metformin / therapeutic use
  • Middle Aged
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Peptides / therapeutic use*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sulfonylurea Compounds / therapeutic use
  • Venoms / therapeutic use*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin
  • Insulin, Long-Acting
  • Peptides
  • Sulfonylurea Compounds
  • Venoms
  • Insulin Glargine
  • Metformin
  • Exenatide