Insulin Pumps Linked to Better Outcomes in Type 1 Diabetes
Use of an insulin pump and habitual use of continuous glucose monitoring are independently associated with lower risk of severe hypoglycemia, according to new research.
Insulin pump technology has come a long way in the past few decades. Now easier to operate and controlled via smartphone, insulin pumps can continually be monitored to manage glucose.
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For their study, the researchers followed 305 patients of a median age of 65 years who had had type 1 diabetes for 50 years or more and lived in Canada.
The researchers administered a mail-based questionnaire to participants and used regression analysis to evaluate factors related to pump use, glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c), and hypoglycemia.
The results showed that 44% of participants used insulin pumps, with an 8-year median duration of use. Those who used insulin pumps reported more minor hypoglycemia events than nonusers per month (6.5 events vs 5.1 events) and fewer severe hypoglycemia events in the previous year (0.5 events vs 1.3 events). Daily glucose monitoring and frequent testing were associated with lower HbA1c levels.
“Insulin pump and continuous glucose monitoring technologies were associated with lower risk of severe hypoglycemia, while frequent daily glucose testing was associated with lower HbA1c level,” the researchers concluded. “These findings imply that basic self-management skill and technology play complementary roles in glycemic control among older adults with long-standing [type 1 diabetes].”
Boulet G, Halpern EM, Lovblom LE, et al. Prevalence of insulin pump therapy and its association with measures of glycemic control: results from the Canadian study of longevity in type 1 diabetes. 2016; 18(5): 298-307. Diabetes Technol Ther. http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/dia.2015.0216.