Context: Although the long-term health benefits of good glycemic control in patients with diabetes are well documented, shorter-term quality of life (QOL) and economic savings generally have been reported to be minimal or absent.
Objective: To examine short-term outcomes of glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM).
Design: Double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel trial.
Setting: Sixty-two sites in the United States.
Participants: A total of 569 male and female volunteers with type 2 DM.
Intervention: After a 3-week, single-blind placebo-washout period, participants were randomized to diet and titration with either 5 to 20 mg of glipizide gastrointestinal therapeutic system (GITS) (n = 377) or placebo (n = 192) for 12 weeks.
Main outcome measures: Change from baseline in glucose and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels and symptom distress, QOL, and health economic indicators by questionnaires and diaries.
Results: After 12 weeks, mean (+/-SE) HbA1c and fasting blood glucose levels decreased with active therapy (glipizide GITS) vs placebo (7.5% 0.1% vs 9.3%+/-0.1% and 7.0+/-0.1 mmol/L [126+/-2 mg/dL] vs 9.3+/-0.2 mmol/L [168+/-4 mg/ dL], respectively; P<.001). Quality-of-life treatment differences (SD units) for symptom distress (+0.59; P<.001), general perceived health (+0.36; P= .004), cognitive functioning (+0.34; P=.005), and the overall visual analog scale (VAS) (+0.24; P=.04) were significantly more favorable for active therapy. Subscales of acuity (+0.38; P=.002), VAS emotional health (+0.35; P=.003), general health (+0.27; P=.01), sleep (+0.26; P=.04), depression (+0.25; P=.05), disorientation and detachment (+0.23; P= .05), and vitality (+0.22; P=.04) were most affected. Favorable health economic outcomes for glipizide GITS included higher retained employment (97% vs 85%; P<.001), greater productive capacity (99% vs 87%; P<.001), less absenteeism (losses = $24 vs $115 per worker per month; P<.001), fewer bed-days (losses = $1539 vs $1843 per 1000 person-days; P=.05), and fewer restricted-activity days (losses = $2660 vs $4275 per 1000 person-days; P=.01).
Conclusions: Improved glycemic control of type 2 DM is associated with substantial short-term symptomatic, QOL, and health economic benefits.