ORIGIN at a Glance: ORIGIN at a Glance

ORIGIN at a Glance

Approximately 1 in 10 adults in the world have diabetes. Those diagnosed are at a high risk for developing cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack, stroke and even death.

ORIGIN (Outcome Reduction with Initial Glargine Intervention), a long-term international clinical trial, helped answer two important medical questions for people with pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes: does insulin glargine reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke; and do omega-3 fatty acid supplements reduce the risk of death from heart disease?

Participants were randomly assigned to receive either insulin glargine treatment or standard care treatment for diabetes management. Participants were also randomly assigned to receive an omega-3 fatty acid (fish oil) supplement or a placebo. All participants were encouraged to make healthy lifestyle changes including exercise and diet.

12,537 research participants, recruited from 573 sites in 40 different countries worldwide, were followed for a median of 6.2 years.

The study results showed that taking insulin glargine had no effect on the risk of a heart attack or stroke. In addition there was better blood sugar control and a lower risk of new diabetes with insulin glargine. The only side effects were a small increase in the risk of hypoglycemia and a weight gain of about 1.6 kg over a period of more than six years. The results also showed that taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements did not change the risk of dying from heart disease.

Based on these results, we know more about how best to use these common drugs. Basal insulin, delivered as insulin glargine, is now the best studied and best characterized of all the glucose-lowering therapies for type 2 diabetes.