(HealthDay News) — For patients with type 2 diabetes, there are gender-based differences in glycemic control and hypoglycemia after insulin treatment, according to research published in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism.

Alexandra Kautzky-Willer, MD, from the Medical University of Vienna, and colleagues pooled data from six randomized trials of insulin glargine or NPH insulin in insulin-naïve, inadequately controlled patients with type 2 diabetes. 

A total of 1,251 female patients and 1,349 male patients were treated with insulin glargine or NPH insulin for 24 to 36 weeks.

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The researchers found that HbA1c levels were significantly reduced over time for both men and women (P<.001), with a significantly greater decrease in HbA1c for men vs. women (−1.36 vs. −1.22; P=.002). Target HbA1c of less than 7% was achieved by significantly fewer women (P<.001). Women also had a significantly higher insulin dose per kg than men at the study’s conclusion (0.47 U/kg vs. 0.42 U/kg; P<.001). 

Additionally, in women, the incidence rates of severe hypoglycemia and severe nocturnal hypoglycemia were significantly higher (P<.05 and P<.001, respectively). Women were significantly more likely to experience severe hypoglycemia and severe nocturnal hypoglycemia (ORs=1.80 and 3.80, respectively).

“Physicians should be aware of the need to determine and closely monitor dosing, particularly in women, to optimize the balance between glycemic control and hypoglycemia risk,” the researchers wrote.

The study was funded by Sanofi.


  1. Kautzky-Willer A et al. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2015;doi:10.1111/dom.12449.