Insulin Use By Diabetics Associated With Greater Risk Of Dying

Insulin use by diabetics associated with greater risk of dying over a decade compared to other diabetic therapies

Insulin use by diabetics associated with greater risk of dying over a decade compared to other diabetic therapies

Friday, February 8, 2013. In an article published online on January 31, 2013 in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Welsh researchers report an increased risk of adverse effects, cancer and death over a ten year period among diabetics treated with insulin in comparison with other treatments.

Professor Craig J. Currie of Cardiff University and his associates evaluated data from the UK General Practice Research Database, 2000-2010 for 84,622 patients with type 2 diabetes who received glucose-lowering drugs. Subjects were treated with metformin, sulfonylurea drugs, insulin, metformin plus sulfonylureas, or metformin and insulin for no less than 180 days.

Compared with those who used metformin alone, treatment with sulfonylurea drugs was associated with a 43.6 percent greater risk of experiencing an initial adverse cardiac event or cancer, or death from any cause during the decade examined. For insulin alone, the risk was 80 percent higher and for insulin combined with metformin, the risk was 31 percent higher. Among those with no prior history of the events, insulin therapy was associated with nearly twice the risk of heart attack, a 73.6 percent higher risk of major adverse cardiac events, a 43.2 percent greater risk of stroke, a 43.7 greater risk of developing cancer, 3.5 times the risk of kidney complications, and more than twice the risk of neuropathy or dying from any cause in comparison with the risks experienced by those who used metformin.

"By reviewing data from CPRD between 1999 and 2011 we've confirmed there are increased health risks for patients with type 2 diabetes who take insulin to manage their condition," stated Dr Currie, who is affiliated with Cardiff University's School of Medicine.

"Insulin treatment remains the most longstanding blood-glucose-lowering therapy for people with type 2 diabetes, with its use growing markedly in recent years," he noted. "However, with new diabetes therapies and treatments emerging there has been a new spotlight on treatments to ensure what the best and safest form of diabetes treatment is.

"Patients currently being treated with insulin should not, under any circumstances, stop taking their medications, and it is important to emphasize that this report related to only type 2 diabetes which typically starts in older people who are overweight," he cautioned. "Each patient's individual circumstances are different and treatment decisions are managed by their clinician with all of their medical history fully considered."

"Anyone who is concerned should speak to their GP first before taking any action on managing their condition," he added.

What's Hot

Hydrogen sulfide on the longevity horizon

What's Hot

An article published online on January 7, 2013 in the journal Molecular and Cellular Biology summarizes the increasing evidence for hydrogen sulfide (H2S), a gas produced in the body that declines with aging, in the promotion of longevity.

Zhi-Sheng Jiang and colleagues at the University of South China in Hunan reviewed the cardiovascular, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits of hydrogen sulfide as well as its effect on the gene klotho, which is involved in lifespan extension. "Data available so far strongly suggest that H2S may become the next potent agent for preventing and ameliorating the symptoms of aging and age-associated diseases," Dr Jiang stated.

In the cardiovascular system, hydrogen sulfide promotes relaxation of the vascular endothelium and smooth muscle cells, and suppresses the formation of macrophage-derived foam cells that occurs during the development of atherosclerosis. Increased hydrogen sulfide levels have been correlated with reduced coronary heart disease severity.

The antioxidant effect of hydrogen sulfide prevents oxidative damage that has long been associated with age-related conditions. It also inhibits pro-inflammatory factors that further contribute to age-related disease. In addition, H2S upregulates the gene klotho, which extends lifespan through several pathways. Other potential areas of benefit for hydrogen sulfide include central nervous system disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, diabetes and cancer. (The anticancer compound sulforaphane releases relatively large amounts of hydrogen sulfide.)

"A better understanding of the roles of H2S in aging can provide insights into potential therapeutic interventions against aging and reduce age-associated diseases," the authors write. "More specifically, data available so far strongly suggest that H2S may become the next potent preventive and therapeutic agent for preventing and ameliorating the symptoms of aging and age-associated diseases, and this should be addressed in future studies."

Latest Supplements

The Golden Ratio Lifestyle Diet, by Robert Friedman, MD and Matthew Cross
Item #33839

add to cart

The Golden Ratio Lifestyle Diet takes a unique approach to wellness by incorporating information from a variety of scientific disciplines to explore longevity. Right from the get-go, the introduction lets readers know that this is not your run-of-the-mill lifestyle health plan. Talk of the Fibonacci Sequence and Nature's Heartbeat are some of the topics that are so thoroughly researched and chock full of real-world examples of its theories that the book will quickly win you over.

As a total body improvement book, it begins with the simplest of concepts: breathing. The chapter on "Healthy Breath and Circulation" reminds us all how critical a healthy oxygen intake is to further longevity and daily health. The authors state that your vital lung capacity is the number one predictor of longevity. The following chapter deals with another simple, yet vitally important factor in human health: water and hydration.

Chapters titled "Sleep, Rest, and Recovery," and "Posture and Happiness" are certainly valuable, but to Life Extension® readers, the insights in the chapters dedicated to nutrition and detoxification will be truly important and exciting.

Kyolic® Garlic Formula 102

Triple Action Cruciferous Vegetable Extract, 60 vegetarian capsules
Item #01468

add to cart

Scientists have identified specific extracts from cruciferous vegetables — such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts — that help maintain healthy hormone levels. Triple Action Cruciferous Vegetable Extract combines some of these plant extracts into the most comprehensive food-based, plant compilation for cell protection yet.

I3C (indole-3-carbinol) and DIM (di-indolyl-methane) favorably modulate estrogen metabolism and induce liver detoxification enzymes to help neutralize potentially harmful estrogen metabolites and xenoestrogens (potentially toxic, estrogen-like environmental chemicals). Extracts of broccoli, watercress, and rosemary provide glucosinolates, isothiocyanates, carnosic acid, and carnosol — bioactive compounds that have a multitude of favorable effects on estrogen metabolism and cell division. Apigenin, a powerful plant flavonoid, is also added to the formula to boost cell protection, while cabbage extract, a natural source of benzyl isothiocyanate, is included to maintain cell health.



Life Extension Update What's Hot
Diabetes reduces life expectancy by seven to eight years Type 2 diabetes increases, metformin decreases Parkinson's disease risk
Diabetes epidemic threatens cardiovascular disease gains New studies reveal lower risk of cancer in metformin-treated patients
Diabetes, obesity seen as accelerated aging Elevated insulin levels linked with colorectal cancer
Life Extension Magazine® Health Topics
Doctors overlook leading cause of premature death Diabetes
Metformin makes headline news Atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease
The multiple benefits of metformin Cancer adjuvant therapy