Objective: Many patients with type 2 diabetes do not reach glycemic goals despite basal insulin treatment. This study assessed the achievement of a target A1C <7.0% (<53 mmol/mol) after initiation of basal insulin in two settings.
Methods: This was a retrospective analysis of pooled randomized controlled trial (RCT) data, from 11 24-week studies of patients initiating basal insulin performed between 2000 and 2005 and of outpatient electronic medical record (EMR) data from the General Electric Centricity database for insulin-naive patients initiating basal insulin between 2005 and 2012. Baseline characteristics stratified by target A1C and fasting plasma glucose (FPG) attainment were compared descriptively.
Results: In the RCT dataset, 49.0% of patients failed to achieve the target A1C at 6 months versus 72.4% and 72.9% at 6 and 12 months in the EMR dataset, respectively. Despite this, in the RCT dataset, 79.4% of patients achieved the target A1C and/or an FPG <130 mg/dL. In the EMR dataset, only 47.6% and 47.3% of patients achieved an A1C <7.0% and/or FPG <130 mg/dL at 6 and 12 months, respectively. Overall, patients with an A1C >7.0% had a longer diabetes duration and were more likely to be female, nonwhite, and self-funding or covered by Medicaid. Among patients with an A1C >7.0%, more RCT patients (58.0%) had an FPG <130 mg/dL than EMR patients at 6 months (27.8%) and 12 months (27.7%).
Conclusion: Unmet needs remain after basal insulin initiation, particularly in real-world settings, where many patients require further insulin titration. In both populations, patients failing to achieve the target A1C despite attaining an FPG <130 mg/dL require interventions to improve postprandial control.