• Open Access

Long-term efficacy and safety of insulin detemir compared to Neutral Protamine Hagedorn insulin in patients with Type 1 diabetes using a treat-to-target basal–bolus regimen with insulin aspart at meals: a 2-year, randomized, controlled trial


  • This study was published as an abstract at EASD 2007. Bartley P, Bogoev M, Larsen J, Tamer SC, Philotheou A. Superior glycaemic control, less nocturnal hypoglycaemia and less weight gain with insulin detemir relative to NPH insulin in subjects with T1DM treated for 24 months using a treat-to-target concept [Abstract]. Diabetologia 2007; 50 (Suppl. 1): S97.

  • Re-use of this article is permitted in accordance with the Creative Commons Deed, Attribution 2.5, which does not permit commercial exploitation.

: Dr Paul Bartley, Department of Medicine, University of Queensland, 21 Stoneham Street, Stones Corner, QLD 4120, Australia. E-mail: p.bartley@uq.edu.au


Aims  This 24-month, multi-national, open-label, parallel group trial investigated the long-term efficacy and safety of insulin detemir and Neutral Protamine Hagedorn insulin in combination with mealtime insulin aspart in patients with Type 1 diabetes using a treat-to-target concept.

Methods  Patients were randomized 2 : 1 to detemir (n = 331) or NPH (n = 166) groups. Basal insulin was initiated once daily (evening) and titrated individually based on self-measured plasma glucose (PG) levels, aiming for pre-breakfast and pre-dinner targets ≤ 6.0 mmol/l. A second basal morning dose could be added according to pre-defined criteria.

Results  After 24 months, superiority of glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) was achieved with detemir compared to NPH (detemir 7.36%, NPH 7.58%, mean difference −0.22% points) [95% confidence interval (CI) −0.41 to −0.03%], with reductions of 0.94% and 0.72% points, respectively. Fasting PG (FPGlab) was also lower with detemir (detemir 8.35 mmol/l, NPH 9.43 mmol/l; P = 0.019). Twenty-two per cent of patients treated with detemir reached an HbA1c ≤ 7.0% in the absence of confirmed hypoglycaemia during the last month of treatment vs. 13% on NPH (P = 0.019). Risk of major and nocturnal hypoglycaemia was 69% and 46% lower with detemir than with NPH (P < 0.001), respectively; patients treated with detemir gained less weight (detemir 1.7 kg, NPH 2.7 kg; P = 0.024). The overall safety profile was similar in the two groups and treatment with detemir did not result in any unexpected findings.

Conclusions  Long-term treatment with the insulin analogues detemir + aspart was superior to NPH + aspart in reducing HbA1c, with added benefits of less major and nocturnal hypoglycaemia and less weight gain.