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Alterations in Insulin Absorption and in Blood Glucose Control Associated with Varying Insulin Injection Sites in Diabetic Patients

VElKKO A. KOIVISTO, M.D.; and PHILIP FELIG, M.D.
[+] Article and Author Information

Grant support: in part by grants AM 13525 and RR 125 from the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Felig is an Established Investigator of the American Diabetes Association.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Philip Felig, M.D.; Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, 333 Cedar Street; New Haven, CT 06510.


New Haven, Connecticut


©1980 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1980;92(1):59-61. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-92-1-59
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In seven insulin-dependent diabetic subjects the disappearance rate of 125I-labelled short-acting insulin from injection sites in the abdominal wall was 86% greater than from the leg (P < 0.005) and 30% greater than from the arm (P < 0.05). Absorption from the arm was 40% greater than from the leg (P < 0.05). The postprandial rise in plasma glucose concentration varied inversely with the rate of insulin absorption and was 30 to 50 mg/dL less after abdominal than after leg injection; the glycemic response after arm injection was intermediate between that after leg and abdominal injection. These results indicate that changing the insulin injection site from the leg to the abdomen or arm accelerates the absorption of insulin and diminishes the postprandial rise in plasma glucose. Varying insulin injection sites within the same anatomic region rather than between different regions may diminish daily variations in insulin absorption and in metabolic control in insulin-dependent diabetic subjects.

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