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Lipoatrophy and lipohypertrophy were the most frequently reported local complications of conventional insulin therapy. Early reports following the introduction of highly purified insulins suggested a reduction in the frequency of lipohypertrophy and lipoatrophy. Since highly purified insulins have been in common usage for 10 years, the present frequency of these complications was assessed in a study of 281 insulin treated diabetics. Lipohypertrophy was recorded in 76 (27.1%) patients including 3 with associated lipoatrophy. Lipoatrophy was found in 7 (2.5%) cases (3 porcine and 4 bovine insulin treated), 4 of which had only ever used highly purified insulins. Despite the introduction of highly purified insulins, lipohypertrophy and lipoatrophy remain prevalent in insulin treated patients. This common complication may be limited by routinely inspecting injection sites.


Journal article


Postgrad Med J

Publication Date





850 - 853


Adipose Tissue, Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Animals, Cattle, Child, Female, Humans, Hypertrophy, Injections, Subcutaneous, Insulin, Lipodystrophy, Male, Middle Aged, Swine