Population-based screen-detected type 2 diabetes mellitus is associated with less need for insulin therapy after 10 years

Rimke C Vos*, Henk den Ouden, Lois A Daamen, Henk J G Bilo, Petra Denig, Guy E H M Rutten

*Corresponding author for this work

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INTRODUCTION: With increased duration of type 2 diabetes, most people have a growing need of glucose-lowering medication and eventually might require insulin. Presumptive evidence is reported that early detection (eg, by population-based screening) and treatment of hyperglycemia will postpone the indication for insulin treatment. A treatment legacy effect of population-based screening for type 2 diabetes of about 3 years is estimated. Therefore, we aim to compare insulin prescription and glycemic control in people with screen-detected type 2 diabetes after 10 years with data from people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes seven (treatment legacy effect) and 10 years before during care-as-usual.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Three cohorts were compared: one screen-detected cohort with 10 years diabetes duration (Anglo-Danish-Dutch study of Intensive Treatment in People with Screen-Detected Diabetes in Primary care (ADDITION-NL): n=391) and two care-as-usual cohorts, one with 7-year diabetes duration (Groningen Initiative to Analyze Type 2 Diabetes Treatment (GIANTT) and Zwolle Outpatient Diabetes project Integrating Available Care (ZODIAC): n=4473) and one with 10-year diabetes duration (GIANTT and ZODIAC: n=2660). Insulin prescription (primary outcome) and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) of people with a known diabetes duration of 7 years or 10 years at the index year 2014 were compared using regression analyses.

RESULTS: Insulin was prescribed in 10.5% (10-year screen detection), 14.7% (7-year care-as-usual) and 19.0% (10-year care-as-usual). People in the 7-year and 10-year care-as-usual groups had a 1.5 (95% CI 1.0 to 2.1) and 1.8 (95% CI 1.3 to 2.7) higher adjusted odds for getting insulin prescribed than those after screen detection. Lower HbA1c values were found 10 years after screen detection (mean 50.1 mmol/mol (6.7%) vs 51.8 mmol/mol (6.9%) and 52.8 mmol/mol (7.0%)), compared with 7 years and 10 years after care-as-usual (MDadjusted: 1.6 mmol/mol (95% CI 0.6 to 2.6); 0.1% (95% CI 0.1 to 0.2) and 1.8 mmol/mol (95% CI 0.7 to 2.9); and 0.2% (95% CI 0.1 to 0.3)).

CONCLUSION: Population-based screen-detected type 2 diabetes is associated with less need for insulin after 10 years compared with people diagnosed during care-as-usual. Glycemic control was better after screen detection but on average good in all groups.

Original languageEnglish
Article number000949
Number of pages7
JournalBMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • type 2 diabetes
  • insulin
  • primary care
  • family practice
  • screening

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