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Intense metabolic control by means of insulin in patients with diabetes mellitus and acute myocardial infarction (DIGAMI 2): effects on mortality and morbidity

K. Malmberg , L. Rydén , H. Wedel , K. Birkeland , A. Bootsma , K. Dickstein , S. Efendic , M. Fisher , A. Hamsten , J. Herlitz , P. Hildebrandt , K. MacLeod , M. Laakso , C. Torp-Pedersen , A. Waldenström
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehi199 650-661 First published online: 23 February 2005


Aims Patients with diabetes have an unfavourable prognosis after an acute myocardial infarction. In the first DIGAMI study, an insulin-based glucose management improved survival. In DIGAMI 2, three treatment strategies were compared: group 1, acute insulin–glucose infusion followed by insulin-based long-term glucose control; group 2, insulin–glucose infusion followed by standard glucose control; and group 3, routine metabolic management according to local practice.

Methods and results DIGAMI 2 recruited 1253 patients (mean age 68 years; 67% males) with type 2 diabetes and suspected acute myocardial infarction randomly assigned to groups 1 (n=474), 2 (n=473), and 3 (n=306). The primary endpoint was all-cause mortality between groups 1 and 2, and a difference was hypothesized as the primary objective. The secondary objective was to compare total mortality between groups 2 and 3, whereas morbidity differences served as tertiary objectives. The median study duration was 2.1 (interquartile range 1.03–3.00) years. At randomization, HbA1c was 7.2, 7.3, and 7.3% in groups 1, 2, and 3, respectively, whereas blood glucose was 12.8, 12.5, and 12.9 mmol/L, respectively. Blood glucose was significantly reduced after 24 h in all groups, more in groups 1 and 2 (9.1 and 9.1 mmol/L) receiving insulin–glucose infusion than in group 3 (10.0 mmol/L). Long-term glucose-lowering treatment differed between groups with multidose insulin (≥3 doses/day) given to 15 and 13% of patients in groups 2 and 3, respectively compared with 42% in group 1 at hospital discharge. By the end of follow-up, HbA1c did not differ significantly among groups 1–3 (∼6.8%). The corresponding values for fasting blood glucose were 8.0, 8.3, and 8.6 mmol/L. Hence, the target fasting blood glucose for patients in group 1 of 5–7 mmol/L was never reached. The study mortality (groups 1–3 combined) was 18.4%. Mortality between groups 1 (23.4%) and 2 (22.6%; primary endpoint) did not differ significantly (HR 1.03; 95% CI 0.79–1.34; P=0.831), nor did mortality between groups 2 (22.6%) and 3 (19.3%; secondary endpoint) (HR 1.23; CI 0.89–1.69; P=0.203). There were no significant differences in morbidity expressed as non-fatal reinfarctions and strokes among the three groups.

Conclusion DIGAMI 2 did not support the fact that an acutely introduced, long-term insulin treatment improves survival in type 2 diabetic patients following myocardial infarction when compared with a conventional management at similar levels of glucose control or that insulin-based treatment lowers the number of non-fatal myocardial reinfarctions and strokes. However, an epidemiological analysis confirms that the glucose level is a strong, independent predictor of long-term mortality in this patient category, underlining that glucose control seems to be an important part of their management.

  • Myocardial infarction
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Mortality
  • Morbidity
  • Insulin
  • Metabolic control
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