Did you know…?
• Weight gain is a common problem with insulin therapy for diabetes patients (1)
• People with type 2 diabetes can put on as much as 4 kg (about 8 pounds) within the first few years of insulin therapy (2)
• The fear of putting on weight can deter patients from initiating insulin treatment, which can increase diabetic mortality and morbidity (1)
BUT, weight gain needn’t be inevitable.
Professor Stephen Bain, Professor of Medicine at Swansea NHS Trust, and member of the Diabetes and Weight Team (DWT), explains that, "Weight gain is a common problem with insulin therapy and it can have serious consequences for people with diabetes not only physically, in terms of the ability to control their condition, but also psychologically. However, weight gain isn’t necessarily inevitable. Exercise and dieting can help and, significantly, so can modern forms of insulin." (3,4,5,6)
Angela Wright, who has experienced type 2 diabetes since the age of 37, says, “People with diabetes shouldn’t assume that they will put on weight and certainly shouldn’t put off starting insulin treatment as a result. I’ve managed to control my weight despite intensive insulin therapy and actually lost 25.5kg (4 stone) in a year.” (7)
The physical and psychological consequences for people with diabetes can be problematic e.g.: (1)
• Life expectancy is reduced, on average, by:
- More than 15 years in people with Type 1 diabetes8
- Between 5 and 7 years in people with Type 2 diabetes (at age 55 years) (8)
• Adults with diabetes have heart disease death rates about 2 – 4 times higher than adults without diabetes (8)
• The risk of stroke is 2 to 4 times higher among people with diabetes (8)
• About 30% of patients with Type 2 diabetes develop overt kidney disease (8)
Dr Dawn Harper, GP and member of the Diabetes and Weight Team (DWT) says; “Weight gain can be a serious psychological barrier to the initiation of treatment with insulin, but weight gain is not inevitable as some modern basal insulins actually show less weight gain.” (1,9)
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For more information and to arrange an interview with a member of the Diabetes and Weight Team (DWT), please contact Red Door Communications:
Kate Burd, 020 8392 8057, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jas Kaur, 020 8392 8096, email@example.com
Notes to Editors:
The Diabetes and Weight Team comprises:
• Dr Dawn Harper, GP
• Dr Sarah Jarvis, GP
• Professor Stephen Bain, Professor of Diabetes Medicine in Swansea
• Professor Stephen Gough, Professor of Medicine in Birmingham
• Azmina Govindji, Consultant Nutritionist, registered dietitian, broadcaster and best-selling author
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1. Russell-Jones D. et al. Insulin-associated weight gain in diabetes – causes, effects and coping strategies Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism 2006 (Published online 15th December 2006)
2. Intensive blood-glucose control with sulphonylureas or insulin compared with conventional treatment and risk of complications in patients with type 2 diabetes (UKPDS 33). UK Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS) Group. Lancet, 1998 Sep 12;352(9131):837-53
3. Rašlová K et al, Insulin detemir and insulin aspart: a promising basal-bolus regimen for type 2 diabetes. Diabetes research and clinical practice 66 (2004) 193-201 [Note: author correction published in Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, 2006;72:112]
4. Haak et al, Lower within-subject variability of fasting blood glucose and reduced weight gain with insulin detemir compared to NPH insulin in patients with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Obes Meta. 2005; Jan 7(1):56-64
5. Home et al, Insulin detemir offers improved glycemic control compared with NPH insulin in people with type 1 diabetes: a randomized clinical trial. Diabetes Care, 2004 May;27(5):1081-7
6. Hermansen K et al. Insulin analogues (insulin detemir n insulin aspart) versus traditional human insulins (NPH insulin and regular human insulin) in basal-bolus therapy for patients with Type 1 diabetes. Diabetologia, 2004;47:622-629
7. Summary of Product Characteristics Levemir, February 2007
8. Department of Health, Turning the Corner: Improving Diabetes Care. June 2006
9. Philis-Tsimikas A et al. Comparison of Once-Daily Insulin Detemir with NPH Insulin Added to a Regimen of Oral Antidiabetic Drugs in Poorly Controlled Type 2 Diabetes, Clinical Therapeutics 2006; 28: 10 1869 - 1881
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