OBJECTIVE— To determine whether NIDDM patients exposed to insulin therapy in a clinical setting gain weight.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS— This study, an historical cohort chart review, was conducted at the IHS clinic on the Navajo Reservation in Northern Arizona. We studied 27 Native Americans with NIDDM and 102 Native-American nondiabetic control subjects.

RESULTS— Insulin therapy consisting of a mean of 105 U/day was associated with a mean weight gain of 3.0 ± 2.2 kg/yr. When insulin was discontinued or decreased, a mean weight loss of 5.2 ± 2.7 kg/yr was observed in the same patients. No significant weight gain was noted in 102 nondiabetic control subjects, nor in 20 of 27 insulin-treated patients given oral hypoglycemic agents before initial insulin therapy.

CONCLUSIONS— Insulin therapy appeared to be associated with weight gain in this group of NIDDM patients. This suggests that observations for weight gain be undertaken when treating NIDDM patients with insulin, because it may exacerbate the underlying pathophysiology of the disease.

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