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The Preferred Insulin for the Elderly

Apr 24, 2021
Editor: David L. Joffe, BSPharm, CDE, FACA

Author: Oluwatayo Ishola, PharmD. Candidate, South College, School of Pharmacy

Long-acting insulins seem to be the best choice for elderly patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. 

A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine shows that insulin detemir and insulin glargine had a lower risk of hypoglycemia development in the elderly than NPH insulin. Both insulin glargine and insulin detemir are long-acting insulins, whereas NPH insulin is intermediate-acting. The study was conducted with approximately 575,000 participants. The purpose of this study was to determine the probability of hospital visits in elderly patients with type 2 diabetes who were on long-acting insulin versus NPH due to hypoglycemia.  


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