Background: Patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) have a higher prevalence of heart failure (HF) than those without it. Approximately 40 % of HF patients have DM and they tend to have poorer outcomes than those without DM. This study evaluated the impact of insulin therapy on mortality among acute HF patients. Methods: A total of 1740 patients from the Korean Acute Heart Failure registry with DM were included in this study. The risk of all-cause mortality according to insulin therapy was assessed using the Cox proportional hazard models with inverse probability of treatment weighting to balance the clinical characteristics (pretreatment covariates) between the groups. Results: DM patients had been treated with either oral hypoglycemic agents (OHAs) alone (n = 620), insulin alone (n = 682), or insulin combined with OHAs (n = 438). The insulin alone group was associated with an increased mortality risk compared with the OHA alone group (HR = 1.41, 95 % CI 1.21–1.66]). Insulin therapy combined with OHAs also showed an increased mortality risk (HR = 1.29, 95 % CI 1.14–1.46) compared with the OHA alone group. Insulin therapy was consistently associated with increased mortality risk, regardless of the left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) or HF etiology. A significant increase in mortality was observed in patients with good glycemic control (HbA1c < 7.0 %) receiving insulin, whereas there was no significant association in patients with poor glycemic control (HbA1c ≥ 7.0%). Conclusions: Insulin therapy was found to be associated with increased mortality compared to OHAs. The insulin therapy was harmful especially in patients with low HbA1c levels which may suggest the necessity of specific management strategies and blood sugar targets when using insulin in patients with HF.
- Diabetes mellitus
- Heart failure