Versatile Role of Insulin Highlighted in Special Issue of Diabetes Care

Nov 24, 2015, 15:00 ET from American Diabetes Association

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Insulin therapy, the cornerstone of diabetes treatment for more than 90 years, has undergone substantial changes since it was first introduced, especially over the past two decades. In a special issue of Diabetes Care published in December, a dozen new reports highlight the crucial role insulin continues to play in diabetes treatment and the numerous and innovative ways in which it is now used.

"Although insulin has always been the mainstay of type 1 diabetes treatment, we recognize now its effectiveness and safety in type 2 diabetes and continue to learn to use it in new ways," said William T. Cefalu, MD, Editor in Chief of Diabetes Care. "Over the years, many changes in insulin therapy have occurred, including new formulations, new delivery systems, and additional therapeutic tactics. We are on the brink of a new and exciting era with increasingly reliable and easy-to-use continuous glucose monitoring as part of a closed-loop delivery system. To demonstrate the diversity of and recent innovations in the clinical use of insulin, we dedicated the December 2015 issue of Diabetes Care to insulin use. In this issue, we provide a collection of articles addressing the versatility of insulin in general, new concepts regarding older formulations, new formulations on the market, the advantages of using insulin in combination with the newer agents both in type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes, and new insulin delivery systems."

In an editorial accompanying the special collection, the authors compare the role of insulin to that of the "black dress," a staple of women's fashion and an iconic symbol of versatility. "Just like the 'black dress,' by simple additions or modifications [insulin] can be adapted to nearly all occasions," they wrote, then added in a section on using oral agents in combination with insulin, "Our idea that insulin therapy is like a basic 'black dress' includes the concept that both can go well with additional accessories—in the case of insulin, other therapies used in combination."

"To a great extent, the newer classes of glucose-lowering agents are being studied as 'add-on' tactics on a background of insulin rather than as a replacement for insulin in subjects with type 2 diabetes," they concluded.  "Thus, we think insulin is and will continue to hold the place of the 'black dress' among therapies … meeting a basic need, never out of fashion, and always adaptable to everyday needs."

Copies of the full studies, commentaries, and the editorial can be found at

The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight to Stop Diabetes® and its deadly consequences and is fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure, and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. For the past 75 years, the Association's mission has been to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (800-342-2383) or visit Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.

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SOURCE American Diabetes Association