Domestic refrigerators may pose risk to insulin quality

October 03, 2018

New research being presented at this year's European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) Annual Meeting in Berlin, Germany (1-5 October), suggests that insulin is often stored at the wrong temperature in patients' fridges at home, which could affect its potency.

Many injectable drugs and vaccines are highly sensitive to heat and cold and can perish if their temperature shifts a few degrees. To prevent loss of effectiveness, insulin must stay between 2-8°C/36-46°F in the refrigerator or 2-30°C/30-86°F when carried about the person in a pen or vial.

Individuals with diabetes often store insulin at home for several months before they use it, but little is known about how storage in domestic fridges impacts insulin quality.

To investigate how often insulin is stored outside the manufacturer's recommended temperature range, Dr Katarina Braune from Charité - Universitaetsmedizin Berlin in Germany in collaboration with Professor Lutz Heinemann (Science & Co) and the digital health company MedAngel BV monitored the temperature of insulin formulations stored in fridges at home and carried as a spare.

Between November 2016 and February 2018, 388 diabetes patients living in the USA and the EU placed temperature sensors (MedAngel ONE, http://www.medangel.co) either next to their insulin in the fridge and or their diabetes bag.

Temperature data were automatically measured every 3 minutes (up to 480 times a day) before being sent to an app and recorded on a secure database. Temperature data were recorded for an average of 49 days.

Analysis of 400 temperature logs (230 for refrigerated and 170 carried insulin) revealed that 315 (79%) contained deviations from the recommended temperature range.

On average, insulin stored in the fridge was out of the recommended temperature range 11% of the time (equivalent to 2 hours and 34 mins a day). In contrast, insulin carried by patients was only outside recommendations for around 8 minutes a day.

Importantly, freezing was an even bigger issue, with 66 sensors (17%) measuring temperatures below 0?C (equivalent to 3 hours a month on average).

"Many people with diabetes are unwittingly storing their insulin wrong because of fluctuating temperatures in domestic refrigerators", says Dr Braune.

"When storing your insulin in the fridge at home, always use a thermometer to check the temperature. Long-term storage conditions of insulin are known to have an impact on its blood-glucose lowering effect. For people living with insulin-dependent diabetes who take insulin several times a day via injections or continuously administer insulin with a pump, precise dosing is essential to achieve optimal therapeutic outcomes. Even gradual loss of potency introduces unnecessary variability in dosing. More research is needed to examine the extent to which temperature deviations during domestic storage affect insulin efficacy and patient outcomes."
-end-


Diabetologia

Related Diabetes Articles from Brightsurf:

New diabetes medication reduced heart event risk in those with diabetes and kidney disease
Sotagliflozin - a type of medication known as an SGLT2 inhibitor primarily prescribed for Type 2 diabetes - reduces the risk of adverse cardiovascular events for patients with diabetes and kidney disease.

Diabetes drug boosts survival in patients with type 2 diabetes and COVID-19 pneumonia
Sitagliptin, a drug to lower blood sugar in type 2 diabetes, also improves survival in diabetic patients hospitalized with COVID-19, suggests a multicenter observational study in Italy.

Making sense of diabetes
Throughout her 38-year nursing career, Laurel Despins has progressed from a bedside nurse to a clinical nurse specialist and has worked in medical, surgical and cardiac intensive care units.

Helping teens with type 1 diabetes improve diabetes control with MyDiaText
Adolescence is a difficult period of development, made more complex for those with Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM).

Diabetes-in-a-dish model uncovers new insights into the cause of type 2 diabetes
Researchers have developed a novel 'disease-in-a-dish' model to study the basic molecular factors that lead to the development of type 2 diabetes, uncovering the potential existence of major signaling defects both inside and outside of the classical insulin signaling cascade, and providing new perspectives on the mechanisms behind insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes and possibly opportunities for the development of novel therapeutics for the disease.

Tele-diabetes to manage new-onset diabetes during COVID-19 pandemic
Two new case studies highlight the use of tele-diabetes to manage new-onset type 1 diabetes in an adult and an infant during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Genetic profile may predict type 2 diabetes risk among women with gestational diabetes
Women who go on to develop type 2 diabetes after having gestational, or pregnancy-related, diabetes are more likely to have particular genetic profiles, suggests an analysis by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions.

Maternal gestational diabetes linked to diabetes in children
Children and youth of mothers who had gestational diabetes during pregnancy are at increased risk of diabetes themselves, according to new research published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Two diabetes medications don't slow progression of type 2 diabetes in youth
In youth with impaired glucose tolerance or recent-onset type 2 diabetes, neither initial treatment with long-acting insulin followed by the drug metformin, nor metformin alone preserved the body's ability to make insulin, according to results published online June 25 in Diabetes Care.

People with diabetes visit the dentist less frequently despite link between diabetes, oral health
Adults with diabetes are less likely to visit the dentist than people with prediabetes or without diabetes, finds a new study led by researchers at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing and East Carolina University's Brody School of Medicine.

Read More: Diabetes News and Diabetes Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.