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Study finds no benefit for nasal insulin in preventing or delaying type 1 diabetes


Nasal insulin did not prevent or delay type 1 diabetes in children who were predisposed to diabetes, according to the findings from a new study.

Researchers analysed cord blood samples of consecutively born infants (n=116,720) and their siblings (n=3,430) for the susceptibility to type 1 diabetes.

There were 17,397 infants and 1,613 siblings who had increased genetic risk; 11,225 infants and 1,574 siblings consented to screening of diabetes-associated auto antibodies every three to 12 months.

Infants and children who were positive for two or more auto antibodies, were assigned to either receive intranasal short-acting human insulin or a placebo once a day.
Diabetes was diagnosed in 49 children assigned to insulin and in 47 assigned to placebo; median intervention duration was 1.8 years.

Children in the insulin group (n=42) continued treatment until diagnosis with a 16.8% yearly rate of diabetes onset. Children in the placebo group (n=38) continued treatment until diagnosis with a 15.3% yearly rate of diabetes onset.

Seven siblings were diagnosed with diabetes in the insulin group vs. six in the placebo group, according to the researchers. Among all randomised children, diabetes was diagnosed in 56 children in the insulin group and 53 in the placebo group.

The study was stopped early because nasal insulin provided no beneficial effect.
Source: The Lancet. 2008;372:1746-1755.