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We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials to assess the efficacy and safety of the novel, ultra-rapid-acting insulins aspart and lispro in adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Our primary outcome was change in HbA1c from baseline. We additionally assessed eight efficacy and six safety endpoints. We calculated weighted mean differences (WMD) for continuous outcomes and odds ratios (ORs) for dichotomous outcomes, alongside 95% confidence intervals (CIs). We additionally assessed statistical heterogeneity among studies with the I2 statistic, considering values greater than 60% as indicative of substantial heterogeneity. Nine studies comprising 5931 patients were included in the systematic review; eight active-controlled studies could be synthesized in terms of a meta-analysis. Treatment with ultra-rapid-acting insulins had a similar effect on change in HbA1c compared with rapid-acting insulins (WMD -0.02%, 95% CI -0.08 to 0.05, I2  = 61% for patients with type 1 diabetes and -0.02%, 95% CI -0.09 to 0.04, I2  = 19% for patients with type 2 diabetes). Similarly, no difference was evident in terms of change in fasting plasma glucose, self-measured plasma glucose, body weight, basal or bolus insulin dose, incidence of serious adverse events and hypoglycaemia. Compared with rapid-acting insulins, ultra-rapid-acting insulins reduced 1- and 2-hour postprandial glucose (PPG) increment based on a liquid meal test, both in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes (WMD -0.94 mmol/L, 95% CI -1.17 to -0.72, I2  = 0% and -0.56 mmol/L, 95% CI -0.79 to -0.32, I2  = 0%, respectively, for change in 1-hour PPG increment). In conclusion, ultra-rapid-acting insulins were as efficacious and safe as rapid-acting insulins, showing a favourable effect solely on PPG control.

Original publication




Journal article


Diabetes Obes Metab

Publication Date



antidiabetic drug, glycaemic control, insulin therapy, meta-analysis