Efficient and safe glycaemic control with basal-bolus insulin therapy during fasting periods in hospitalized patients with type 2 diabetes using decision support technology: A post hoc analysis

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Hochfellner DA, Rainer R, Ziko H, Aberer F, Simic A, Lichtenegger KM, Beck P, Donsa K , Pieber TR, Fruhwald FM, Rosenkranz AR, Kamolz LP, Baumann PM, Mader JK, Plank J.

Diabetes Obes Metab , 9/2021


Aim: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of basal-bolus insulin therapy in managing glycaemia during fasting periods in hospitalized patients with type 2 diabetes.


Materials and methods: We performed a post hoc analysis of two prospective, uncontrolled interventional trials that applied electronic decision support system-guided basal-bolus (meal-related and correction) insulin therapy. We searched for fasting periods (invasive or diagnostic procedures, medical condition) during inpatient stays. In a mixed model analysis, patients' glucose levels and insulin doses on days with regular food intake were compared with days with fasting periods.


Results: Out of 249 patients, 115 patients (33.9% female, age 68.3 ± 10.3 years, diabetes duration 15.1 ± 10.9 years, body mass index 30.1 ± 5.4 kg/m2 , HbA1c 69 ± 20 mmol/mol) had 194 days with fasting periods. Mean daily blood glucose (BG) was lower (modelled difference [ModDiff]: -0.5 ± 0.2 mmol/L, P = .006), and the proportion of glucose values within the target range (3.9-10.0 mmol/L) increased on days with fasting periods compared with days with regular food intake (ModDiff: +0.06 ± 0.02, P = .005). Glycaemic control on fasting days was driven by a reduction in daily bolus insulin doses (ModDiff: -11.0 ± 0.9 IU, P < .001), while basal insulin was similar (ModDiff: -1.1 ± 0.6 IU, P = .082) compared with non-fasting days. Regarding hypoglycaemic events (BG < 3.9 mmol/L), there was no difference between fasting and non-fasting days (χ2 0.9% vs. 1.7%, P = .174).


Conclusions: When using well-titrated basal-bolus insulin therapy in hospitalized patients with type 2 diabetes, the basal insulin dose does not require adjustment during fasting periods to achieve safe glycaemic control, provided meal-related bolus insulin is omitted and correction bolus insulin is tailored to glucose levels.

Keywords: basal insulin; clinical trial; continuous glucose monitoring (CGM); insulin therapy; type 2 diabetes.