Dr. Aaron Kowalski, Program Director for Metabolic Control at JDRF announced today that initial results of a clinical trial in the USA, showed that people with type 1 diabetes who used continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) devices to help manage their condition, experienced significant improvements in blood sugar control. The results were presented at the prestigious European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) annual meeting in Rome. Portions of the data will be published in the October 2 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, available on line today at www.nejm.org.
This groundbreaking trial, the first independent one of its type, could lead the way to better access to this technology for people with type 1 diabetes, which is currently only funded by the NHS in exceptional circumstances.
The CGM study involved 322 people with type 1 diabetes aged between eight and 72 years old. The trial divided the participants into three categories and the groups were followed for 26 weeks to assess the effects on blood sugar control, with HbA1c levels being the primary measurement taken into account. At the start of the study patients typically had HbA1c levels of between seven and 10 per cent.
The results from the study indicate that consistent use of CGM could help achieve safe HbA1c targets over a sustained period of time. Maintaining good blood sugar control is vital to reducing the risk from the complications of type 1 diabetes.
Speaking in Rome, Dr Kowalski said: “These results are very important, because they show that continuous glucose monitors are more than simply devices of convenience for people with diabetes – they are tools that can substantially improve blood sugar control when used regularly.” He continued: “Based on the findings of previous studies, better control of glucose levels over the long term can be expected to translate to a lower risk of complications for people with Type 1 diabetes.”
Karen Addington, Chief Executive of JDRF, commented: “These results are extremely encouraging, however people with type 1 diabetes will only see their HbA1c levels fall, and benefit from the resulting reduction in complications if the NHS and NICE recognise the value of this technology.”
To find out more about the role continuous glucose monitors play in the development of the artificial pancreas, click here.