Diabet. Med. 29, 716–720 (2012)
Aims The efficacy and safety of insulin degludec (degludec), a new-generation ultra-long-acting basal insulin, was compared with insulin glargine (glargine) in people with Type 1 diabetes mellitus in a 16-week, open-label, randomized trial. Health status, an important aspect of effective diabetes management, was also assessed.
Methods Degludec (n = 59) or glargine (n = 59) were injected once daily, with insulin aspart at mealtimes. Health status assessment utilized the validated Short Form 36 Health Survey, version 2, which has two summary component scores for mental and physical well-being, each comprising four domains.
Results At study end, HbA1c reductions were comparable between groups, but confirmed nocturnal hypoglycaemia was significantly less frequent with degludec [relative rate 0.42 (95% CI 0.25–0.69)], and overall hypoglycaemia numerically less frequent [relative rate 0.72 (95% CI 0.52–1.00)]. After 16 weeks, a significant improvement in Short Form 36 Health Survey mental component score of +3.01 (95% CI 0.32–5.70) was obtained for degludec against glargine, attributable to significant differences in the social functioning [+8.04 (95% CI 1.89–14.18)] and mental health domains [+2.46 (95% CI 0.10–4.82)]. For mental component score, Cohen’s effect size was 0.42, indicating a small-to-medium clinically meaningful difference. The physical component score [+0.66 (95% CI –2.30 to 3.62)] and remaining domains were not significantly different between degludec and glargine.
Conclusions In the context of comparable overall glycaemic control with glargine, degludec improved mental well-being as measured using the mental component score of the Short Form 36 Health Survey. The improvements in overall mental component score and the underlying social functioning and mental health domains with degludec compared with glargine may relate to the observed reduction in hypoglycaemic events.