Sensor and insulin pump results in better blood-sugar control in all age groups with diabetes

Jun 29, 2010

Adding a continuous blood sugar level sensor to an insulin pump helps patients with type 1 diabetes achieve better blood sugar control compared to the common standard of care, multiple daily insulin injections, concludes a study published on-line today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The paper is entitled, Effectiveness of Sensor-Augmented Insulin-Pump therapy in Type 1 Diabetes.

"Combining the best technologies for insulin delivery and monitoring really pays off for diabetes control," says Dr. Bruce Perkins, one of the co-authors of the study, endocrinologist at Toronto General Hospital and Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto. "Being aware of continuous blood sugar trends and having the tools to do something about them can help committed patients of all ages self-manage their diabetes very well."

Research conducted at 30 centres across North America, including Toronto General Hospital, found a significant decrease in average blood sugar levels (or A1c levels, which measure the average blood sugar levels over the past two or three months) from a baseline of 8.3% to 7.5% in the group using sensors and insulin pumps, compared to 8.3% to 8.1% in the multiple daily injection group, at one year. The decrease in A1c levels in both adults and children occurred without an increase in the rate of severe hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, a common problem among patients who are trying to achieve better control of their blood sugar. Symptoms include shakiness, rapid heart beat, confusion and even unconsciousness.

Moreover, the proportion of participants who reached the A1c target of 7% or less was greater in the pump-therapy group than in the injection-therapy group. Adults with diabetes try and maintain A1c levels of seven percent or below in order to reduce the risk of complications from diabetes, such as kidney failure, heart disease and blindness.

The 485 study participants with inadequately controlled ranged in ages from seven to 70, and were treated for at least one year, in a randomized, controlled trial.

In the study, patients in the sensor-augmented pump therapy arm used an integrated system which incorporates an insulin pump, continuous glucose monitor and self-management software. A glucose (sugar) sensor reveals fluctuations in glucose levels in real-time, and transmits electric signals wirelessly to the insulin pump, which is about the size and shape of a small cell phone. The pump displays the blood sugar levels, allowing patients to react to either high or low levels before they become dangerous.

Explore further: Australian virus might be answer to effective Ebola vaccine

Provided by University Health Network

4 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Self-monitoring of blood glucose

Sep 29, 2009

Diabetes patients should always control their own blood sugar values if this leads to improvements in their treatment. This is the view advocated by Michael Nauck of the Bad Lauterberg Diabetes Center and his coauthors in ...

Recommended for you

Global Ebola conference seeks end to W.Africa outbreak

4 hours ago

Leaders of Ebola-hit countries in west Africa will attend an international conference in Brussels Tuesday to mobilise a final push to end the outbreak and ensure the delivery of nearly $5 billion in aid pledges.

High prevalence of HCV in baby boomers presenting to ER

14 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The prevalence of unrecognized chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) is high among baby boomers presenting to the emergency department, according to a study published online Jan. 28 in Hepatology.

The hidden burden of dengue fever in West Africa

15 hours ago

Misdiagnosis of febrile illnesses as malaria is a continuing problem in Africa. A new study shows that in Ghana, dengue fever is circulating in urban areas and going undiagnosed. The authors of the study hope to use the findings ...

Teenager with stroke symptoms actually had Lyme disease

15 hours ago

A Swiss teenager, recently returned home from a discotheque, came to the emergency department with classic sudden symptoms of stroke, only to be diagnosed with Lyme disease. The highly unusual case presentation was published ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.