To examine the effectiveness and safety of long-term intensive therapy in NIDDM and IDDM.


In a private practice setting with a multi-disciplinary team, we compared the rates of total mortality, cardiac-specific mortality, and severe renal failure over 14 years in a cohort of 780 eligible patients, 209 patients with a longer duration of intensive therapy (median duration > 11 years, group I) and 571 patients with shorter duration of intensive therapy (median duration < 1 year, group II). A comorbidity index was used to assess the degree of prognostic risk at baseline. A comprehensive diabetes program was the therapeutic intervention. The endocrinologists and diabetes care team provided primary care, aggressive cardiovascular screening, and risk reduction. Intensive insulin therapy was used in 95.7% of group I IDDM and 66.0% of group I NIDDM patients.


The overall median HbA1c for group I was 7.3%. Compared with group II, the overall reduction in cumulative total mortality in group I was 22%. In the cohort with less severe initial comorbidity, the reduction in total mortality was 45%. We found similar reductions in renal failure rates in IDDM and in cardiac mortality in NIDDM patients on intensive insulin therapy.


This comprehensive diabetes program is associated with lowered mortality and morbidity in both IDDM and NIDDM. Intensive insulin therapy in long-term patients with NIDDM does not increase cardiac mortality. Intensive therapy is safe and effective in NIDDM within the context of a comprehensive program.

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