Background: Diabetes is 3-4 times more prevalent in Indigenous Australians with blood glucose levels often above target range. Once weekly formulations of exenatide(exenatide-LAR) have demonstrated significantly greater improvements in glycaemic management with no increased risk of hypoglycaemia and with reductions in bodyweight but have not been studied in Indigenous Australians.
Aims: To assess the feasibility and metabolic effects of once weekly supervised injection of exenatide-LAR in addition to standard care in Indigenous Australians with type 2 diabetes.
Methods: Two communities in Central Australia with longstanding specialist clinical outreach services were allocated by random coin toss to receive once-weekly exenatide-LAR injection with weekly nurse review and adjustment of medication for 20 weeks (community with exenatide-LAR) or to weekly nurse review in addition to standard care over 20 weeks (community without exenatide-LAR). The primary outcome was the feasibility of an intensive diabetes management model of care with and without weekly supervised exenatide-LAR. Secondary outcomes included change in HbA1c.
Results: Thirteen participants from the community with exenatide-LAR and nine participants from the community without exenatide-LAR were analysed. Eighty-five percent of individuals in the community with exenatide-LAR and 67% in the community without exenatide-LAR attended more than half of clinic visits. Median difference in the change in HbA1c from baseline to final visit, adjusted for baseline HbA1c, between the community with exenatide-LAR and the community without exenatide-LAR was −3.1%, 95% CI (−5.80%, −0.38%; P = 0.03).
Conclusions: Weekly exenatide-LAR combined with weekly nurse review demonstrated greater improvements in HbA1c, highlighting its potential for use in remote communities.