Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D) is a complex metabolic impairment. Beta cell (BC) failure is the most challenging among its pathogenetic mechanisms. Recognizing reversible contributors to BC failure could guide individualized approach to early T2D treatment. The aim of this study was to compare early short-term insulin treatment vs. glimepiride, both added to metformin, on BC function, glycemic and lipid control, during 12-month follow-up. Patients and methods: Eighty newly diagnosed T2D patients, 30-65 years of age, presenting with HbA1c ≥ 9% were enrolled in the study. They were randomly assigned to single-month initial insulin therapy (INS) added to metformin, or to glimepiride and metformin (OAD) as only treatment. Subjects assigned to initial insulin intervention were thereafter switched to OAD. C-peptide (C-Pep) was analyzed at baseline and 2 hours after standardized test meal (STM). All subjects were STM-retested after 3 and 12 months. HbA1c, serum lipids, BMI, HOMA IR, and HOMA B were assessed over follow-up. Results: HbA1c was lower in INS vs OAD at 3-months: 6.26 ± 0.18% vs 6.78 ± 0.10% (p = 0.016), remaining so by 12 months (p = 0.056). BMI-adjusted ΔC-Pep was greater in INS vs. OAD at 3 months (4.60 ± 0.59 vs. 3.21 ± 0.34 m2/kg; p = 0.044), persisting by 12 months (4.57 ± 0.56 vs. 3.04 ± 0.34 m2/kg; p = 0.023). Average ΔC-Pep improvement from recruitment to 3 months was 100.8% in INS, vs. 51.3% in OAD. Prevalence of STM-ΔC-Pep response greater than 2.4 ng/mL had risen 3.2-fold by 12 months in the INS, vs. 2.4-fold only in the OAD group (p = 0.018). Conclusion: Early short-term insulin intervention in newly diagnosed T2D improves beta cell function more than glimepiride, both added to metformin, resulting in a superior and longer lasting glycemic and lipid control.


Early short-term insulin treatment, beta cell function, diabetes type 2, standardized test meal

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