Long-term benefits of insulin therapy and glycemic control in overweight and obese adults with type 2 diabetes.J Diabetes Complications 2009 Mar-Apr; 23(2):143-52JD
Obesity and type 2 diabetes have reached epidemic proportions in the United States. Obese patients are at especially high risk for the development of metabolic syndrome, a clustering of metabolic abnormalities associated with insulin resistance that usually precede the development of cardiovascular disease. Overweight or obesity, along with insulin resistance, is frequently present in people with type 2 diabetes.
A literature search of the PubMed and MEDLINE databases, using the terms diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, glycemic control, antidiabetic therapy, and insulin, was performed. Articles published between 1985 and 2006 that examined diabetes management in the obese population were selected and reviewed.
There is new evidence suggesting that tight glycemic control and earlier initiation of insulin therapy can improve outcomes in obese patients with type 2 diabetes, thereby reducing the risk for the development of both macrovascular and microvascular complications of the disease. Insulin also appears to exhibit anti-inflammatory effects, which may provide additional protection against the development of atherosclerosis. Despite the benefits of insulin therapy, many patients and physicians remain reluctant to start insulin due to concerns about weight gain.
Newer insulin formulations can effectively improve glycemic control without significant effects on patient weight and, therefore, may be particularly useful in patients who are overweight or obese. Implementation of comprehensive treatment regimens that emphasize dietary modification, physical activity, and exercise, and aggressive use of pharmacological agents to achieve tight glycemic control through physiological regimens offer the most promise for reducing long-term complications in obese patients with type 2 diabetes.