Long-term insulin use 'not linked to heart disease'

14 June 2012

Diabetes sufferers who are long-term users of insulin are not at an elevated risk of developing heart disease, a new study has found.

Previous research had suggested that insulin and a higher risk of heart diseases are connected, but this theory has been disproved in new research carried out by experts at McMaster University in Canada.

The research was led by Dr Hertzel Gerstein, professor of medicine at McMaster's Michael G DeGroote School of Medicine, who analysed more than 12,500 people in 40 countries over the course of six years.

He noted that the results of the Outcome Reduction with an Initial Glargine Intervention report, which is published in the New England Journal of Medicine, counter previous concerns about the side-effects of insulin when taken over a significant period of time.

"People have been debating the question of whether there are adverse consequences to long-term insulin use for years. This study provides the clearest answer yet to that question: No, there are not," Dr Gerstein explained.

He added: "We now know what the risks are of taking insulin on a long-term basis, and they are low."

Posted by Jeanette Royston

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