(NaturalNews) According to the World Diabetes Foundation, nearly one-third of all Type II diabetics take daily insulin injections as part of their prescribed treatment protocol. But a new study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism reveals that this quintessential diabetes therapy option may be responsible for more than doubling the risk of death from all causes among those with Type II diabetes.
Compiled by researchers from the U.K., the new study involved carefully scrutinizing the safety of insulin injections in order to gain a more thorough understanding of the treatment's many possible side effects. Utilizing data from the U.K. General Practice Research Database, which included nearly 85,000 patients with Type II diabetes, researchers compared the side effects of insulin injections alone with four other common treatment protocols for the disease.
Using metformin monotherapy as the baseline referent, the research team discovered that the risk of having a major cardiac event, developing a first cancer, or dying jumped by more than 30 percent when insulin was simply added to metformin treatment for Type II diabetes. Sulfonylurea monotherapy was found to be associated with a roughly 44 percent increased risk of these same conditions, while insulin monotherapy alone was associated with an overall 80 percent increased risk.
Compared to metformin monotherapy, sulfonylurea monotherapy, metformin plus sulfonylurea combination therapy, and insulin plus metformin combination therapy, insulin monotherapy was found to increase the risk of both stroke and cancer by about 43 percent, and major adverse cardiac events by about 74 percent. And while risk of myocardial infarction almost doubles while on insulin monotherapy, risk of neuropathy more than doubles, according to the figures.
The biggest jump was found with renal complications; however, which are three-and-a-half times more likely to occur as a result of insulin monotherapy. And risk of all-cause mortality more than doubles as a result of insulin monotherapy, illustrating the severe risk factors associated with taking this commonly-prescribed diabetes medication.
"In people with T2DM (Type II diabetes mellitus), exogenous insulin therapy was associated with an increased risk of diabetes-related complications, cancer, and all-cause mortality," wrote the authors in their conclusion. "There is a clear need to review the way in which exogenous insulin is used in people with Type II diabetes and to establish in detail the risk-benefit profile at differing stages of the natural history of the disease and in phenotypically different subgroups.
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