Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

AIMS: The aim of this retrospective cohort study was to estimate the time to insulin initiation in patients with Type 2 diabetes inadequately controlled on oral glucose-lowering agents (OGLAs). METHODS: Insulin-naïve patients failing on OGLAs were identified from The Health Improvement Network database, which collects records from general practices throughout the UK. Patients were included if they were aged > or = 40 years, had concomitant prescriptions for > or = 2 OGLAs, and > or = 1 year of available records prior to the first occurrence of HbA(1c) > or = 8.0% after > or = 90 days of OGLA polytherapy at > or = 50% of maximum recommended dosages. RESULTS: A total of 2501 eligible patients with Type 2 diabetes who had an HbA(1c) above the OGLA failure threshold of > or = 8.0% were identified (54.0% male; 30.9% aged 60-69 years). It was estimated that if all the eligible patients were followed for 5 years, 25% would initiate insulin within 1.8 years of OGLA failure (95% CI 1.6-2.0), and 50% within 4.9 years (95% CI 4.6-5.8). The presence of diabetes-related complications had no substantial impact on the time to insulin initiation. CONCLUSIONS: This study found that 25% of patients with Type 2 diabetes had insulin initiation delayed for at least 1.8 years, and 50% of patients delayed starting insulin for almost 5 years after failure of glycaemic control with OGLA polytherapy, even in the presence of diabetes-related complications. Interventions that reduce this delay to insulin initiation are required to help achieve and maintain recommended glycaemic targets in patients with Type 2 diabetes.

Original publication




Journal article


Diabet Med

Publication Date





1412 - 1418


Administration, Oral, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Cohort Studies, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2, Female, Humans, Hypoglycemic Agents, Injections, Subcutaneous, Insulin, Male, Middle Aged, Time Factors, Treatment Failure, United Kingdom