Revisiting the Efficacy of Long-Acting Insulin Analogues on Adults With Type 1 Diabetes Using Mixed-Treatment Comparisons

Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2011 Dec;94(3):333-9. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2011.09.001. Epub 2011 Oct 11.


Aim: To perform a network meta-analysis between long-acting insulin analogues (glargine and detemir) and Neutral Protamine Hagedorn (NPH) insulin on adults with type 1 diabetes.

Methods: A systematic review of the literature was conducted according to the Cochrane Collaboration guidelines. The search for randomized controlled trials was performed in process databases, conferences and "gray literature" by 1995.

Results: We found 1051 citations comparing glargine or detemir with human insulin and 187 comparing long-acting insulin analogues. Data on Glycated Hemoglobin (HbA1c), hypoglycemia episodes, nocturnal hypoglycemia and withdrawal were meta-analyzed. After review, 8 studies comparing glargine and 9 comparing detemir with NPH and 2 comparing glargine with detemir were considered relevant. Were included 1508 patients that received glargine, 2698 detemir and 2654 NPH insulin. Efficacy data showed no significant differences in HbA1c change between glargine or detemir (once daily) and NPH insulin. Twice-daily regimen of detemir caused a difference in HbA1c that favored detemir (-0.14% [95% CI -0.21 to -0.08]). Direct comparisons showed no significant differences between glargine and detemir in safety or HbA1c mean change.

Conclusion: The long-acting insulin analogues offer little to no clinical advantages over NPH insulin, and there is no significant difference in the efficacy and safety.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Insulin, Long-Acting / chemistry*
  • Insulin, Long-Acting / therapeutic use*


  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin, Long-Acting