Good long-term effects of continuous glucose monitoring

November 16, 2020

New data on continuous glucose monitoring for people with type 1 diabetes, over a significantly longer period than before, are now available. A University of Gothenburg study shows that using the CGM tool, with its continuous monitoring of blood sugar (glucose) levels, has favorable effects over several years.

The technology of continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) is superseding that of the classic portable blood glucose meters, which require a prick in the finger several times daily. More and more people with type 1 diabetes have access to the new technology.

With CGM, nonstop measurement of blood glucose takes place by means of a fine subcutaneous fiber thread that tracks and, by telephone or a separate device, reports the blood sugar of the person wearing it. An alarm can be set to issue a warning if the figure becomes too low or high. Previous clinical CGM trials had investigated its use over roughly six months. In the latest trial, patients were followed up for much longer: two and a half years.

The study comprised 108 adult patients at 13 hospitals in Sweden. All the patients were being treated with insulin injections.

The results, published in the scientific journal Diabetes Care, demonstrate that CGM has several long-term positive effects for people with type 1 diabetes. The patients' average blood glucose, in terms of glycated hemoglobin, (HbA1c) level, fell by 4 mmol/mol during the trial period. This is a clear improvement, despite the patients with CGM receiving less support from hospital staff during the study period than they had done before, with capillary testing, the older technique.

The duration of episodes with much lower blood sugar levels, below 3.0 mmol/mol, which have a cognitive effect and are often unpleasant for the patient, decreased by approximately 70%. The patients' blood glucose fluctuated less, they found CGM more comfortable and enjoyable, and they were less apprehensive about excessively low blood sugar levels.

The technique thus had effects that both gave the patients medical protection and enhanced their mental wellbeing, thereby providing scope for long-term, efficacious treatment.

In charge of the study was Marcus Lind, Professor of Diabetology at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, and chief physician at Uddevalla Hospital. The work was carried out at the research unit in NU Hospital Group that he leads.

"Nowadays, most people with type 1 diabetes in Sweden get CGM. However, it's important for decision makers to use longer-term data as a basis for deciding which treatments to subsidize and support," Lind says. "We've had periods when CGM has been questioned in some parts of the country, although it's become steadily more established over time. Robust data are also important at times when financing of various technical aids is increasingly being discussed."

"The study is also important from an international point of view, since CGM isn't available for most people in the world with type 1 diabetes - and this applies in Western countries as well. Long-term data are needed to enable more patients to use CGM. The present study shows that when patients use it and also receive support at the level recommended in clinical practice for extended periods, many vital variables improve for people with type 1 diabetes. So this study is important for type 1 diabetic patients worldwide," Lind concludes.
-end-


University of Gothenburg

Related Diabetes Articles from Brightsurf:

New diabetes medication reduced heart event risk in those with diabetes and kidney disease
Sotagliflozin - a type of medication known as an SGLT2 inhibitor primarily prescribed for Type 2 diabetes - reduces the risk of adverse cardiovascular events for patients with diabetes and kidney disease.

Diabetes drug boosts survival in patients with type 2 diabetes and COVID-19 pneumonia
Sitagliptin, a drug to lower blood sugar in type 2 diabetes, also improves survival in diabetic patients hospitalized with COVID-19, suggests a multicenter observational study in Italy.

Making sense of diabetes
Throughout her 38-year nursing career, Laurel Despins has progressed from a bedside nurse to a clinical nurse specialist and has worked in medical, surgical and cardiac intensive care units.

Helping teens with type 1 diabetes improve diabetes control with MyDiaText
Adolescence is a difficult period of development, made more complex for those with Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM).

Diabetes-in-a-dish model uncovers new insights into the cause of type 2 diabetes
Researchers have developed a novel 'disease-in-a-dish' model to study the basic molecular factors that lead to the development of type 2 diabetes, uncovering the potential existence of major signaling defects both inside and outside of the classical insulin signaling cascade, and providing new perspectives on the mechanisms behind insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes and possibly opportunities for the development of novel therapeutics for the disease.

Tele-diabetes to manage new-onset diabetes during COVID-19 pandemic
Two new case studies highlight the use of tele-diabetes to manage new-onset type 1 diabetes in an adult and an infant during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Genetic profile may predict type 2 diabetes risk among women with gestational diabetes
Women who go on to develop type 2 diabetes after having gestational, or pregnancy-related, diabetes are more likely to have particular genetic profiles, suggests an analysis by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions.

Maternal gestational diabetes linked to diabetes in children
Children and youth of mothers who had gestational diabetes during pregnancy are at increased risk of diabetes themselves, according to new research published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Two diabetes medications don't slow progression of type 2 diabetes in youth
In youth with impaired glucose tolerance or recent-onset type 2 diabetes, neither initial treatment with long-acting insulin followed by the drug metformin, nor metformin alone preserved the body's ability to make insulin, according to results published online June 25 in Diabetes Care.

People with diabetes visit the dentist less frequently despite link between diabetes, oral health
Adults with diabetes are less likely to visit the dentist than people with prediabetes or without diabetes, finds a new study led by researchers at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing and East Carolina University's Brody School of Medicine.

Read More: Diabetes News and Diabetes Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.