AT EASD 2017
A second wave of results from the (Tresiba, Novo Nordisk) versus insulin glargine, found that day-to-day variability in fasting plasma glucose (FPG) versus no FPG variability was significantly associated with both severe hypoglycemia (adjusted hazard ratio, 3.37; 95% confidence interval, 2.52-4.50; P less than .001), and all-cause mortality (aHR, 1.33; 95% CI, 1.01-1.75; P = .00432).
In addition, severe hypoglycemia was linked to all-cause mortality, with a temporal relationship seen such that the risk for death was higher the more recent the episode of severe hypoglycemia had been. Indeed, while the risk of death was 2.5 times higher at any time after an episode of severe hypoglycemia than if no prior severe hypoglycemia occurred (HR, 2.51; 95% CI, 1.35-13.09), it was four times higher 15 days after severe hypoglycemia than after no such event (HR, 4.20; 95% CI, 1.9-3.50).
These results of and were presented at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes and published in Diabetologia on Sept. 15.
What do the results mean for current practice?
“There’s great interest in knowing whether glucose variability and severe hypoglycemia are associated with cardiovascular risk and mortality; these data are therefore important and timely,” said the invited commentator and editorialist for the study, a senior lecturer in cardiometabolic medicine at the University of Manchester and an honorary consultant physician at Manchester Royal Infirmary, England.
“Only further clinical trials can genuinely guide clinicians on whether to target glucose variability and risk for severe hypos to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events in people with type 2 diabetes. My hope is that these data will help to build a case for such trials,” Dr. Rutter said.
DEVOTE: main findings and secondary analyses
The main findings from the DEVOTE study were reported in June during the American Diabetes Association’s Annual Scientific Sessions and simultaneously published in the New England Journal of Medicine (P less than .001). The rate of severe hypoglycemia was significantly (P less than .001) lower in the degludec than glargine arm, however, occurring in a respective 4.9% and 6.6% of patients in each group (odds ratio, 0.73).). These showed that insulin degludec was noninferior to insulin glargine, with a similar rate of major cardiovascular events (MACE), which comprised nonfatal myocardial infarction, nonfatal stroke, and cardiovascular death (8.5% vs. 9.3%; HR, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.78-1.06;
“DEVOTE confirms the cardiovascular safety of insulin degludec, compared with glargine,” said DEVOTE study investigator,
Role of glycemic variability
“It is well established that there is a relationship between glycemic variability and hypoglycemia,” said, director of the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, who presented the DEVOTE 2 findings. He commented that the “very dense data” collected during the main study had enabled a fuller analysis of glycemic variability. Dr. Zinman was keen to emphasize that it was the fasting variability that was studied.
Looking at outcomes, there was a dose relationship seen from low to high glycemic variability with increasing rates of severe hypoglycemia, MACE, and all-cause mortality the higher the variability, Dr. Zinman reported.
Although initially there was an increased risk for MACE with increasing glycemic variability, “the association was not maintained after adjusting for baseline characteristics and the most recent A1c,” Dr. Zinman said.