Exploring Patient Preferences for Adjunct-to-Insulin Therapy in Type 1 Diabetes

Diabetes Care. 2019 Sep;42(9):1716-1723. doi: 10.2337/dc19-0548. Epub 2019 Jun 8.


Objective: While sodium-glucose cotransporter inhibitor (SGLTi) therapy has been evaluated in type 1 diabetes (T1D) trials, patient reactions to benefits and risks are unknown. Using established methodology, we evaluated patient preferences for different adjunct-to-insulin therapy options in T1D.

Research design and methods: An online survey, completed by 701 respondents with T1D (231 U.S., 242 Canada, and 228 Germany), used conjoint analysis to present six hypothetical, masked, pairwise drug profile choices composed of different benefit-risk attributes and effect ranges. Data used in analyses were derived from actual phase 3 trials of a low-dose SGLTi (comparable to oral empagliflozin 2.5 mg q.d.), a high-dose SGLTi (comparable to oral sotagliflozin 400 mg q.d.), and an available adjunct-to-insulin therapy (comparable to subcutaneous pramlintide 60 μg t.i.d.).

Results: Conjoint analysis identified diabetic ketoacidosis risk as most important to patients (23% relative score; z test, P < 0.05); ranked second were HbA1c reduction (14%), risk of severe hypoglycemia (13%), oral versus injectable treatment (12%), and risk of genital infection (12%). Next was risk of nausea (11%), followed by weight reduction (8%) and the risk of diarrhea (7%). A low-dose SGLTi drug profile was identified by conjoint analysis as the top patient preference (83% of participants; z test, P < 0.05) versus high-dose SGLTi (8%) or pramlintide (9%). Separate from conjoint analysis, when respondents were asked to choose their preferred adjunct-to-insulin therapy (masked to drug name/dose), 69%, 17%, 6%, and 9% of respondents chose low-dose SGLTi, high-dose SGLTi, pramlintide, and insulin therapy alone, respectively.

Conclusions: Low-dose SGLTi profile was the favored adjunct-to-insulin therapy by persons with T1D.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Clinical Trials, Phase III as Topic
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / psychology
  • Diabetic Ketoacidosis / etiology
  • Diabetic Ketoacidosis / psychology
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemia / etiology
  • Hypoglycemia / psychology
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Insulin / administration & dosage*
  • Male
  • Patient Preference*
  • Sodium-Glucose Transporter 2 Inhibitors / administration & dosage*
  • Weight Loss / drug effects


  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin
  • Sodium-Glucose Transporter 2 Inhibitors