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Benefit of continuous glucose monitoring for people with type 1 diabetes to reduce risk of hypos

A new study has shown the benefit of continuous glucose monitoring and A1c blood testing for people with type 1 diabetes who are taking multiple daily insulin injections.

Published: Jan 31, 2017

People with type 1 diabetes regularly using a continuous glucose monitoring device recorded a reduction in their A1c readings, an average of 1%, and reported better control of their blood sugar levels.

Those taking part in the study also had less instances of hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) and hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar) when they used a Dexcom continuous glucose monitoring device compared to those who used only a standard meter to monitor their glucose.

The study found that people using a continuous glucose monitoring device could reduce their risk of complications related to diabetes

The results of the Diamond study (Multiple Daily Injections and Continuous Glucose Monitoring in Diabetes) were recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Roy Beck, MD, Jaeb, Center for Health Research in Tampa, Florida, said: “In the diabetes community, there is a commonly held belief that insulin pump users are better candidates for using continuous glucose monitoring, and that patients on an MDI regimen would not benefit either because they wouldn’t be willing to wear a continuous glucose monitoring device or they wouldn’t use the information to make the changes needed for better glucose control. The Diamond study makes significant headway in proving that a wide range of diabetes patients taking insulin injections can benefit from continuous glucose monitoring use.” 

The Diamond study looked at 158 adults with type 1 diabetes on multiple daily insulin injections over a 24 week period and carried out an A1c test to see what effect using a continuous glucose monitoring device.

The A1c test is a blood test that provides information about a person's average levels of blood glucose, also called blood sugar, over the past three months. The A1c test is sometimes called the haemoglobin A1c, HbA1c, or glycohaemoglobin test.

Some of those taking part in the study who were considered to have poor control of their diabetes – with a reported A1c of greater than 8.5% - saw a 1.3% reduction in A1c over the 24 weeks.

Read the report in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)