a continuous glucose monitor benefits diabetic patients in more than one way
A study of 15 centers involving 175 patients with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes in JAMA found this continuous blood sugar monitoring, compared to monitoring the blood glucose meter, or finger prick, significantly reduced their hemoglobin A1C level over eight months (-1.1% vs. -0.16%, respectively.)
Although the benefits of continuous blood glucose monitoring in patients with diabetes have been demonstrated previously, the benefits have only been well studied in patients with type 1 diabetes or in type 2 patients treated with multiple daily injections of dia. insulin, called mealtime insulin.
Study author Rodica Busui, MD, Ph.D., also vice president of clinical research in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan Health, says this work is one of the first to deeply understand the impact of accessing and using a continuous glucose monitor in adults with poorly controlled type 2. diabetes that is only treated with basal insulin, a long-acting insulin designed to be injected once or twice a day to provide an adequate level of insulin throughout the day and night
“Not only does this trial demonstrate the benefits of continuous glucose monitoring for these patients, a technology that has not been covered by many insurers for people with type 2 diabetes, but these benefits have been seen in a wide range of socio-economic status and racial origins, ”said Busui.
She adds that about half of the study participants were from a racial or ethnic minority.
The randomized clinical trial began enrolling patients between mid-2018 and the end of 2019, with follow-up in mid-2020. Participants received one or two injections of long-acting basal insulin daily, with or without non-insulin medications to help lower blood sugar.
“This work would not have been possible without the partnership between endocrinologists and general practitioners, as all patients were recruited and treated by our primary care teams,” said Busui, who is also associate director of clinical research in the Elizabeth Weiser Caswell Diabetes Institute.
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In addition to testing the effectiveness of continuous blood glucose monitoring associated with basal insulin in study participants, Busui and his team sought to better understand how the impact of this diabetes treatment approach affected the patient adherence to the management of their disease as well as their overall life satisfaction.
Much to the researchers’ delight, the 175 study participants showed better adherence to managing their diabetes and their life satisfaction was higher.