Diabetics prefer inhaled insulin

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The results of a study published in the journal Diabetes Care suggest that treatment satisfaction and quality of life are more favorable in diabetic patients who use inhaled insulin rather than injected insulin.

Achieving long-term blood sugar control “often requires either an insulin pump or a...multiple-injection insulin regimen,” Dr. Marcia A. Testa, of Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, and a colleague write. “However, use of the pump has been limited by its cost, required technical expertise, and the relative paucity of health care providers trained in its use.” In addition, patients dislike multiple-injection regimens.

In the current study, the researchers assessed treatment satisfaction and quality of life in 120 teens and 207 adults with type 1 diabetes who were randomly assigned to use inhaled or injected insulin for blood sugar control. The subjects were followed for 24 weeks.

Both insulin regimens provided comparable blood sugar control, the results indicate.

The authors report that patients in the inhaled insulin group had a greater increase in overall treatment satisfaction than did those in the injected insulin group regimen. The effects did not vary by age or sex.

In addition, quality-of-life outcomes, such as symptoms, mental health, health status, thinking ability, and adherence with treatment, were more favorable for patients receiving inhaled insulin.

SOURCE: Diabetes Care, June 2007.